Many Queen’s students find ways to give back to the Kingston community, often through work with various student societies and clubs around campus. Each year, student clubs continue traditions of fundraising and service for local causes or find new ways to make a difference.

The Engineering Society teamed up in September with chapters of the Rotary Club from Kingston, Napanee, and Gananoque to continue a longstanding fundraising tradition, the 56th annual Go Nuts Drive, and raised more than $15,000 for local causes. First-year engineering students helped raise these funds by selling chocolate-covered almonds around Kingston door-to-door, and Rotary Club volunteers drove them around various local neighbourhoods, helping them reach more households. The donations were directed to a variety of community organizations focused on children, youth, seniors, and food security, including Loving Spoonful, Pathways to Education, and Rotary Youth Exchange.

“Each fall, I’m newly impressed by the tremendous community spirit our first-year engineering students show through the Go Nuts Drive,” says Dean of Engineering and Applied Science Kevin Deluzio. “As soon as they begin their studies at Queen’s, these students are dedicating their time to making a difference in Kingston, and I know many of them continue their outreach to the local community through the Engineering Society and other campus groups throughout their time here. Their dedication is inspiring.”

Students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and the Smith School of Business started a brand-new fundraising tradition in September with the inaugural Tri-Colour Classic charity basketball game. The game between engineering and commerce students was held at the Leon’s Centre in downtown Kingston and raised $51,000 for The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. Going forward, engineering and commerce students plan to hold the charity rivalry game each year and would also like to inspire similar events at other schools. The new annual event expands on the friendly rivalry of the Cure Cancer Classic, a hockey game between engineering and commerce students that raises funds for the Canadian Cancer Society.

“The aim of the Tri-Colour Classic was to combine Queen's unmatched school spirit and passion for sports for a noble cause,” says Hunter MacKinnon, fourth-year commerce student and commissioner of the Tri-Colour Classic. “It's important for young professionals to realize their potential and not let age discourage them. I believe that we should not wait to be the leaders of tomorrow but rather utilize our learnings and be the leaders of today. All it takes is one decisive course of action to potentially have a positive impact on society in perpetuity.”


Group photo of participants


Outside the Faculty of Engineering, the Arts and Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) held its annual Sidewalk Sale as part of its fall orientation. A longstanding tradition, the Sidewalk Sale features more than 300 booths along University Avenue, including local, national, and international organizations and businesses, and it is an opportunity for students to make connections within the Queen’s and Kingston communities. Each year, the fees collected from the vendors are donated in support of a local cause. This year, donations went to the Kingston chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society, which supports cancer patients in Kingston and funds innovative, local cancer research out of the Canadian Cancer Trials Group. ASUS orientation annually raises close to $100,000 in support of Kingston charities.

The Alma Mater Society (AMS) is generating support for important causes through their sticker campaign. Each month, an AMS commissioner selects a charitable organization to promote with a series of stickers shared on social media and placed around the physical spaces of AMS Services. By making various charities more visible, the sticker campaign aims to encourage students to donate to support important causes.


Student impact on the community

These fundraising initiatives make up part of Queen’s social and economic impact on the Kingston community, which has been measured in a study conducted by Deloitte. That study found that Queen’s students, faculty, and staff annually raise more than $1M to support local causes. It also found that Queen’s students work thousands of volunteer hours for local causes.

Learn more about the community and economic impact of Queen’s students and read the full study on the Queen’s Economic and Community Impact website.


The article appeared first in its original form in the Queen’s Gazette.