A member of Knox Spadina

A member of Knox Spadina, Toronto, received the Meritorious Service Cross from Governor General David Johnston at Rideau Hall in November for his dedication to giving children in developing countries access to education.

Tom Affleck has grown SchoolBOX, his grassroots NGO, from a struggling start-up to an organization that has built more than 80 classrooms in Nicaragua, serving thousands of students.

At just 38 years old, Affleck now pours his energy and Christian values into his new job as entrepreneurial leader at Knox. There he oversees the Missions Hub, an incubator for Christian charities, and a $10 million renewal of the downtown church’s property to ensure it remains a long-term force for good in its community. Affleck’s wife, Sarah Kerr now looks after
SchoolBOX as its executive director.

“This is a very humbling honour,” said Affleck. “We started SchoolBOX with a dream and little else. We’ve now built 82 classrooms, employ a full-time construction crew in Nicaragua, and help more than 17,000 kids a year receive an education with school supplies and libraries.”

In 2018, SchoolBOX will begin a new initiative called SchoolBOX Canada, which aims to empower Indigenous youth in northern communities to create libraries and other educational resources in their schools.

The M.S.C. honour recognizes an activity that has been performed in an outstandingly professional manner, or with uncommonly high standards; the activity is often innovative, sets an example for others to follow, and improves the quality of life of a community.