Every year, a Calgary teacher works to teach his students a very important lesson about awareness and raising funds for a worthy cause like CTV’s Toy Mountain.

Rob Dougherty, Tom Baines Junior High School’s Performing Arts teacher, holds a movie marathon to raise funds for the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter and says the process helps kids build positive relationships.

“They share that with me and I want that to reach out and I want the kids to share that same feeling beyond the school and the Women’s Shelter. It’s all about building healthy relationships so it seemed like the perfect fit.”

Officials at the shelter say they are very happy about Dougherty’s work to raise money and awareness.

“This is a very special kind of involvement because of the way that he’s engaged youth in the project and has expanded it beyond just the donations and really involving kids in a conversation about the issue,” said Kim Ruse, executive director of the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter.

Dougherty’s students say they have also been inspired by his work.

“It’s really a unique experience to be able to give back to the community in a way that you normally wouldn’t be able to on your own,” said Grade 8 student Neil Cullen. “With Mr. Dougherty leading the crusade, it’s a fun and rewarding experience.”

Dougherty, meanwhile, says that his students are the ones who inspire him.

“They’re the ones who drive my engine and keep me moving and getting up every morning and coming back.”

For all he does to teach students the importance of giving, especially during the holiday season, Rob Dougherty is our Inspired Albertan this week.