SchoolBOX Founder Tom Affleck Receives Meritorious Service Cross from Governor General

Today, November 25, the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, awarded the Meritorious Service Cross (M.S.C.) Civil Division to Tom Affleck at a ceremony in Rideau Hall, in honour of Affleck’s  creation of SchoolBOX. The cross recognizes a deed or an activity performed in an outstandingly professional manner, or with uncommonly high standards. The activity is often innovative, sets an example for others to follow, improves the quality of life of a community and brings considerable benefit or honour to Canada. Past M.S.C. recipients include Olympian Clara Hughes and astronaut Chris Hadfield.

The inspiration for SchoolBOX occurred 10 years ago for this Mississippi Mills native, when he gave notebooks and pencils to two little girls in Nicaragua. He realized he had just removed the biggest barrier for them to attend school in one of the world’s poorest countries. That simple gesture and the years of work that followed, have now resulted in one of the country’s highest honours for Affleck, the 38-year-old founder of SchoolBOX.

SchoolBOX is a grassroots, volunteer-driven organization that provides educational supplies and builds libraries, washrooms, playing fields, classrooms, and even entire multi-classroom schools. SchoolBOX has so far constructed 82 classrooms and supplied 476,631 notebooks to children whose parents are often faced with the painful decision to put food on the table, or equip their kids with the tools they need to attend class. SchoolBOX aims to complete its 100th new classroom in 2018.

Now a resident of Toronto, in 2013 Affleck passed the day-to-day administration of SchoolBOX to his wife Sarah Kerr, who serves as the organization’s Executive Director. When’s he’s not assisting Sarah at SchoolBOX fundraisers or parenting their 2-year-old daughter Hannah, Affleck pours his energy into his new job as Entrepreneurial Leader at Knox Presbyterian Church. There, he oversees the Missions Hub, an incubator for Christian charities, and a $10 million renewal of the inner-city church’s property to ensure it remains a long-term force for good in its community.

For info about SchoolBOX, view this YouTube video:.