Press Releases


MONTREAL, DECEMBER 14, 2015 – Nearly 500 brand-new presents have been bought, wrapped and are en route to hundreds of children, courtesy of the families and staff from Pierre de Coubertin Elementary School in St. Leonard.

Dubbed “Arbre de Joie,” the initiative is based on the novel with the same title. Started two years ago by a group of teachers, the program allows for the opportunity to provide a special Christmas filled with joy and happiness to children who are less fortunate.

In order for beneficiaries to remain completely anonymous, those who would like to participate simply receive an ornament with a child’s identification number, first name, age and gender. The gifts are then brought to Pierre de Coubertin where they are wrapped and prepared for delivery.

All the presents are brought to a local school, where each student receives at least one gift.

“With the utmost and overwhelming participation and generosity from the Pierre de Coubertin School family and with the help of the Arbre de Joie Committee, this program has been a wonderful success,” said Vanessa Racz, Child Care Worker at Pierre de Coubertin.

In addition to “Arbre de Joie,” the Pierre de Coubertin community collects year-round new and slightly used toys, clothing, and any other items that are clean and in good condition. These items are donated to various organizations during the holiday season through the CTV Montreal Spirit of Giving campaign. Throughout the rest of the year, they are donated to nearby churches and schools, Entraide Marie Clarac and Renaissance. In turn, these organizations distribute the items to the families in need within the community.

Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213