HOST Program
59 Callaway Court
Orleans, Ontario, Canada
K1C 7S4
Phone: (613) 983-3633

When I was seventeen years old, in my first year of university, I decided to quit school for a number of reasons, including financial difficulties. My father, a middle class factory worker, gave me one hundred dollars (a lot of money in 1962) and convinced me to return to school. I graduated from the Royal Military College, had a successful career - in the military and the National Arts Centre - and raised an amazing family. I always remembered that day and it is now my goal to try to do the same for students in similar circumstances.

In 2005, some friends and I started an informal program at Christmas time by asking a local high school to select three deserving students; we gave them each a $75 gift certificate to the Place d’Orléans Shopping Centre. In 2010, I decided to create the Help Our Students Program to provide financial support throughout the entire school year. Using funds solicited from family and friends, we were able to support three students - two from St. Matthew High School and one from Cairine Wilson Secondary School - by giving them one hundred dollars each month, from September through June, for a total of $1,000.

After the first year, more individuals, businesses and organizations donated to the HOST Program. It has grown each year; in 2015-16, our sixth year, we are supporting 34 students from 30 high schools.

The long-term plan is to offer financial support to at least one boy and one girl in every youth high school in the City of Ottawa.

Richard Lussier
Help Our Students
(HOST) Program
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