Monday, October 31, 2005

Christmas Trees Raise Money

Thanks to Sally Jo Martin for letting us know about this SCAW fundraiser.

Plant World on 4000 Eglinton Ave., is promoting SCAW in December, 2005 by donating $5 from each fresh Christmas tree purchased on Dec 3rd or 4th.

Since Murray used his tree farms to collect money in the early years of SCAW, this is a very appropriate tie-in.

Friday, July 1, 2005

BBQ raises bucks for bedtime

An article published on the Kiwanis International website.

The Aktion Club of Toronto, Ontario, served its third annual barbecue, and children around the world are sleeping peacefully as a result.

Members wanted to support Sleeping Children Around the World, and the barbecue’s CAN$330 profits were enough to provide beds, pajamas, and other bedtime items for 11 children in developing nations.

Staff members from the club’s supporting agency, Community Living Toronto, joined Toronto-area Kiwanis club members and other friends, at the Aktion Club fundraiser.

Monday, March 14, 2005

For the Children

An article on the Charity Village website, March 14, 2005.
By Doug Jamieson

When disaster strikes, some people don't think twice before putting their lives on hold and getting involved.

As we all know, on Boxing Day a tsunami devastated Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the southern coast of Asia, and areas on the African coast. Most of you probably supported the relief effort with your donations. But for some, just writing a cheque wasn't enough.

As news of the carnage spread, Clarence Deyoung of Bedford, Nova Scotia, his wife Mary Ann, and his son Roy met with a Sri Lankan family who live in Bedford to find out what they were hearing from their families.

They learned that 70 schools were completely destroyed and 95 schools were partly destroyed in Sri Lanka. In addition, more than 200 schools were being used as camps to house people who had lost their homes.

Clarence has long been a volunteer with Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW), and has made many trips to underdeveloped countries to distribute bed kits to children who don't even own a toothbrush. So he felt that he could do something about this problem in Sri Lanka. Under the banner For the Children, he contacted friends, relatives, and business associates he thought would help, and raised enough money for 5,000 kits.

For $12 each, they put together school kits containing twelve exercise books, one science project book, two square rule exercise books, one box of coloured pencils, two pencils, two pens, one ruler, a pair of shoes, and a school bag to hold everything.

Clarence already had Rotary Club contacts in Sri Lanka from earlier SCAW trips, and they identified the remote areas that were most in need. Rotary also bought the kit contents with the funds that had been raised in Canada.

Plane tickets, visas, police checks, passports and innoculations were quickly arranged, and Clarence and Roy flew from Halifax on February 2nd via London and Dubai - 26 hours of flying - to assemble and distribute the kits.

Distribution of these school kits in seven of the affected areas was coordinated with the local school board, and all children in the chosen schools, both Tamil and Sinhalese, received a kit. DSI, a local shoe company, followed Clarence and Roy around in a truck loaded with shoes so the children could select the proper size.

While working 20-hour days in temperatures up to 38 degrees Celsius, Clarence and Roy still found time to send pictures and regular updates to their supporters by e-mail.

Clarence reports, "Many great things have happened as a result. For example, we got help from four schools. After we came back, Roy put together a PowerPoint presentation that we presented to all the children in those schools to thank them for their help, to show them the actual distribution of the school bag process, and answer any questions they might have. I have always felt that it is great to get children helping children. These children asked a lot of good questions, and you never know when you are planting a seed that will get these children involved in doing volunteer work or helping others somehow. As a matter of fact, from those presentations, I am working with three high school students who want to go to a developing country this summer to work on a project of some kind. Plus, we are now getting calls from other schools and churches to go and do the presentation for them."

They arrived back home on February 18th.

Mission accomplished. Thanks guys.

Monday, February 7, 2005

600,000 kids, and still going strong

From the Times of India, February 7, 2005
Rahul Chandawarkar/TNN

Members of the Canadian charitable organization, Sleeping Children Around the World, and volunteers of the Rotary Club of Pune Cantonment distribute sleeping and school kits to children in Wagholi on Sunday.Pune, India: The Canadian charitable organization, Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW), joined hands with the Rotary Club of Pune Cantonment to distribute 600 sleeping and school kits to needy children in Wagholi and Mulshi, on the outskirts of the city, on Sunday.

Members of the Canadian charitable organization, Sleeping Children Around the World, and volunteers of the Rotary Club of Pune Cantonment distribute sleeping and school kits to children in Wagholi on Sunday.

SCAW was founded by Canadians Murray and Margaret Dryden in 1970 and till February 2002, has collected over $15 million to provide sleeping kits to over 600,000 children in 31 countries world-wide. Typically, SCAW donations provide sleeping kits to children of any race/religion in underdeveloped and developing countries. Each $30 donation (Rs 1,130) provides for a sleeping kit that consists of a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net (if applicable), school uniforms, undergarments, shoes, school supplies and a towel.

Veteran Mumbai-based Rotarian Shamaldas Parekh (82), who is traveling in Maharashtra and Karnataka with the Canadian team and has collaborated with SCAW for the last 25 years, said the first-ever Indian distribution was done at the St. Crispins home in Pune in 1971. SCAW joined hands with the Rotary Club of Pune Cantonment in 1995 and has been carrying out distributions in Pune for the last 10 years.

According to Rotarian Nitin Shah, over 5,000 children have been given sleeping kits in the last 10 years in Mulshi, Wagholi, Malavli, Markal, Phursungi, Katraj and Pune city areas. Shah said preference was always accorded to the needy, school going children in the age group of 6 to 10. We are confident that the sleeping and school kits will encourage children to stay within the school system and keep them away from work, says Shah.

On Sunday morning, 232 sleeping kits were first distributed by SCAW and Rotary teams to the children of stone quarry workers at the Pashan Shala, run by the Santulan group in Wagholi.

This was followed by distribution of kits to 25 Kashmiri orphans from the Kamshet English school and 129 children of the Ashram Shala, a school for orphans and destitutes at Wagholi.

Four students and two teachers of the same Kamshet school had perished last year in a fire caused by an LPG tanker, which had run into the school premises.

After receiving the kits, the children of Ashram Shala could not hold back their joy. They sat in neat rows and cheered their benefactors.

Geetanjali Thakre (12), a class V student of Ashram Shala, said, I am very happy to get the sleeping kit. Im sure I will be comfortable tonight. When I grow up, I want to become a doctor and serve the poor people of the world.

Her classmate, Renuka Pujari (12), said, I love school very much. English is my favorite subject. I want to become a teacher and take care of orphans like me when I grow up.

It was obvious that the days events had touched a chord in the hearts of the SCAW team. Ted Swanston, a resident of Toronto, on his fourth visit to India, said, Its a privilege to help the needy children of India. The children at the stone quarry were so poor. We hope our kits will make their lives a little more comfortable.

According to Ted, every SCAW volunteer incurs his/her own traveling and lodging-boarding expenses. Every single dollar is put into the sleeping kit. We do not take anything from the organization, Ted said.

After distributing another 214 kits to children from the villages near Mulshi on Sunday afternoon, the SCAW team was traveling to Belgaum, Hubli, Ranebennur and Kundgol in Karnataka for more distributions.