Sunday, November 25, 2007

Raymond James: SCAW Holiday Spirit Cards


Raymond James held a Sharing the Holiday Spirit Greeting Card Contest to design cards for this year's holiday giving season. They had more than 135 entries from children − ages 2 to 12 years old − who are related to and/or friends of their people right across the country.

This year again all proceeds from the sale of the cards will go to support Sleeping Children Around the World. Last year, they raised nearly $8,000 which went to Sleeping Children. This year, through the help of their young artists, they hope to surpass this amount.

At right are a few of the cards that won the contest.

Thanks to Warren Wagstaff in Vancouver for letting us know about this campaign.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

An Evening with Lynette and Friends

The pleasure of your company is requested at
"An Evening with Lynette and Friends"
A Benefit Concert by Artists from
The Kiwanis Music Festival and Guests
In support of
Sleeping Children Around the World

Saint James' Cathedral
65 Church Street, Toronto
Saturday, November 24th, 2007
5 - 7 pm
$10 per ticket

For further information, please email Lynette.

You can click on the graphic or this link to enlarge the poster.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Group delivers goods to needy

Publshed on the website for the Newmarket Era and Banner in Vaughan on Nov 14, 2007

By: Meagan Bowden

Sleeping Children Around the World is helping dreams come true.

Using $30 donations, the non-profit organization has delivered kits to children in underdeveloped countries since 1970.

This year, the organization travelled to the Phillippines and team leader Kettlebly resident Ken Graham, led the way.

“I give the people credit for the attitude they have,” Mr. Graham said, speaking of the thousands of people who lost everything during the catastrophes in the Phillipines.

After an eruption of Mount Mayon in 2006, followed by a vigorous typhoon just months later, the citizens of the Bicol region were left with almost nothing.

All waterways were blocked and coconut production, a staple industry in the Phillipines, was left in tatters.

Since these events, the group has delivered thousands of kits to children in the Phillipines.

“It’s unique that 3,000 of the 5,000 bedkits went to people who lost everything from the volcanic eruption and the typhoon,” Mr. Graham said.

For this trip, bedkits included clothing, school supplies, a toothbrush, bath towel, mosquito net and bedding, among many other household necessities.

“When the kits (are) handed to the children they smile. They take your hand and put it to their forehead as a way of thanking you,” described Mr. Graham.

The children are also photographed along with their bedkits which is sent to each donor.

“The No. 1 main purpose is that they're able to go to school,” said Graham.

He also emphasizes the country has improved over the past 10 years since the increase in employment and industry.

But there is more room for improvement.

Mr. Graham recounts people building shelters under mango trees after their dwellings were destroyed.

“The basic philosophy is that education is probably going to do more to improve their own standard of living,” Mr. Graham said.

The organization will return to the Phillipines early next April.

For more on the project, go to www.scaw.org

Travelling Volunteers on Daytime in Owen Sound



Gloria Hogan interviews travelling volunteers Carl and Pat Dickey about Sleeping Children Around the World and the display that will be at Heritage Mall on November 16 and 17. On Daytime, Rogers Television, Owen Sound.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday, October 12, 2007

Sleeping Children on CBC News at Six



The Canadian dollar's rise may seem to be helping some Canadian charities.

Havard Gould reports from Sleeping Children Around the World in Toronto.

Click the arrow in the middle of the YouTube viewer to start the video.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thursday, September 6, 2007

PRESS RELEASE: The Dryden Touch

Three Generations of Giving

SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD is a Canadian Charity that was registered in 1970 by Murray and Margaret Dryden. This exemplary organization is dedicated to the distribution of bedkits to needy children in third world countries. Murray began his work in India. His first distribution consisted of 50 bedkits. From this very humble beginning the Charity has grown to the point that it can now report that 888,350 bedkits have been distributed in 32 different third world countries.

Murray and Margaret were very clear on how their Charity would operate. There would be no administrative costs taken from a donation. Volunteers would pay all their own expenses. There would be no solicitation. Donors would give of their own free will. The message of the Charity would be spread by word of mouth. Traveling volunteers would share their stories when they returned to Canada. There would be no money diverted to cover any marketing expenses.

In the beginning, the Dryden’s paid all administrative costs. Currently, all administrative expenses are covered by the interest generated from a legacy fund established from the sale of properties that Murray owned in Caledon, Ontario. This has enabled the Charity to honour the pledge that 100% of every donation goes directly to the bedkit. This Charity has become an admired and respected organization. Recently the Toronto Star listed SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD as among the top five charities.

Since Murray’s death, his son David has been an inspirational leader within the Charity. He holds an Executive position and travels annually on distributions. He and his wife Sandra recently returned from the Philippines where they had the privilege of visiting with Dr. Juan Torres who is responsible for the Overseas Volunteers in his country and who knew Murray personally. In addition to the joy of delivering 5,000 bedkits, Dave also understands the warm friendships that have developed with the many partners in the countries served by SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD.

Murray’s grand daughter, Debbie, is passionate about Murray’s dream. Debbie also believes that it is every child’s right to have a safe and peaceful night’s sleep. She has just returned from Uganda where she and her husband Sieg shared in the distribution of 6,000 bedkits. Needy children in remote Ugandan villages received bedkits that included a mattress, blanket, a towel, bed sheets, t-shirt, shorts/skirt, sandals, a basin and a mosquito net.

For more information please contact Tamara Kaftalovich, Consultant, Maverick Public Relations Inc. @ 416-640-5525 ext/ 234.

Also available for as a PDF file via download.

How much of your donation reaches a needy child?

Published in Qatalyst Magazine, September, 2007

Eileen Rademacher Paintings for Sleeping Children


There is a presentation of watercolour paintings by Eileen Rademacher
At the Faculty Club, University of Toronto,
41 Wilcocks Street,
Toronto, Ontario

Date: September 5 to 28, 2007
Time: Monday to Friday, 2 PM to 9 PM

Opening Reception on Thursday, September 6:
6 PM to 9 PM

A percentage of the profits will be donated to Sleeping Children Around the World.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Karate expert fights for others

Sonya Heleno loves to fight.

Sonya Heleno, a recent graduate and major scholarship winner at Shelburne high school, visited Togo, Africa, in June to distribute Kits For Kids, a collection of clothing, health and school supplies to less fortunate youth.(Joel Jacobson)

By Joel Jacobson,
... from The Chronical Herald Halifax, NS. August 15, 2007

She holds a black belt in karate, earned in a club in her hometown of Shelburne.

She admits she gets a "thrill from fighting, even though I do both the traditional and sport aspects of karate. I want to do (fighting) tournaments next year but I’m not sure if I’m good enough, even though my instructor says I am."

But Sonya is a fighter in other ways, too. Soon to enter Dalhousie University on a TD Canada Trust 2007 Community Leadership Scholarship, the 18-year-old has fought for human rights for a few years, creating a program called Kits for Kids.

"I read in the Chronicle Herald about Sleeping Children Around the World, a Canadian organization that provides the bed kits for children in third world countries," she says, eyes wide with excitement as she describes what the organization does with $30 per child that goes, totally, with no administration costs, to providing for these children.

Last June, Sonya travelled to Togo in West Africa, at her own expense and without the benefit of a tax receipt, to personally help deliver the bed kits to kids. Each kit consists of a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net (if applicable), clothes, towel and school supplies. Contents vary from country to country, depending on local needs.

Bedkits are made in the countries where they are distributed. Locally produced bedkits result in elimination of transportation costs, provision of materials and labour at minimal cost, employment for families and assistance to the local economy and the country.

"There were six of us on our team in Togo," says Sonya. "There are hardly ever any youth. The next youngest to me on this mission was about 45."

Overseas volunteers led the team to local villages where they saw great poverty. "It was very sad to see," she says. "On television, it doesn’t seem real, but when you’re there and it’s in your face, it doesn’t seem right that it happens."

The reality of poor children is why Sleeping Children Around the World was started by Murray and Margaret Dryden, parents of hockey goalies Ken and Dave, in 1970 after travelling through India and seeing children sleeping on the street.

During the depression in the 1930’s, Murray traveled east from Manitoba looking for work and endured many nights without food or a bed. He later said the comfort of a bed is a basic right of every child and that there is nothing more peaceful than a sleeping child.

His hobby of photographing sleeping children (his own and those of friends) gave rise to the idea of a retirement project. He and Margaret decided to provide bedkits to 50 children in India in 1970. The concept grew and eventually became the focus of their lives. Almost 700,000 kits have been distributed.

Sonya is glad she found the idea. "Now that I’m home and into my old routines, I still stop and think how comfortable we are."

She thought about that before the Togo trip and spent her own dollars at used clothing dealers to leave outfits with children in Togo.

"The bed kits are for children ages six to 12 who are living with their families, not to be given to street kids, for they’ll probably be sold, certainly not the purpose. The clothes I took were for teenagers who had little of their own."

She raised funds for the $30 kits by canvassing schools and running dance coat checks at Shelburne Regional High School.

In 2006-07, Sonya co-chaired the school’s Stop Poverty committee which ran a 30-hour Famine, generating $2,300 for World Vision.

She had earlier organized one in Grade 8.

"We have so much," she states. "We all spend money on things we don’t need. It only costs $5 a year to send a child to school in Togo and, do you know, two-thirds of the population can’t afford to send their kids?"

Now that high school is over, Sonya says this won’t be the end of her charitable work. "I want to organize something in university to raise money to help kids. I’m very excited to meet more people who want to do that sort of thing."

This young woman is not singularly focused. She played soccer on Shelburne High’s division III provincial championship team, "the most incredible thing ever, the best moment of my senior high years when we won."

She was an air cadet for four years and, as a flight commander in her last year (summer between Grades 10 and 11), was named top cadet at camp in Greenwood.

But it’s Togo that’s leaving a lasting impression as she looks at a career in either medicine, psychiatry or international development — or maybe a combination of all three.

"I realized, as did the Drydens, that if a child is hungry, sore and tired, a good night’s sleep can prepare him or her for the next day. They need that to fight the hunger and the pain. I hope was able to help by providing the Kits for Kids."


It’s time for a brief vacation. Great Kids will return August 26. Contact Joel Jacobson via e-mail at jjacobson@herald.ca or fax at 426-1158, or phone 902-426-2811 ext. 2222.

Monday, August 6, 2007

PRESS RELEASE: North Vancouver Resident Brings Hope to Africa

In Warren Wagstaff’s own words, “Togo is a remarkable place.”

We might describe Togo differently. Warren reported that the average daily income in the rural areas is near $1.25 a day while the income in the more populated areas is near $3.25 daily. While fruits and vegetables are plentiful and inexpensive by our standards, most local residents can not afford to buy them. The main city in Togo is called Lome and it is choked with people. Many are trying to create small businesses to make a meager income. On a small table, Warren observed old whiskey bottles full of diesel, gas or motor oil. This was a crude Togolese gas station!!

Warren recently visited Togo on behalf of a Canadian Charity called Sleeping Children Around the World. This exemplary Charity travels to third world countries to distribute bedkits to needy children. Volunteers cover all of their own travel expenses so donors can be guaranteed that every penny of their donation will go to the child’s bedkit. While in Togo, Warren participated in the distribution of 3000 bedkits each made possible through a $30.00 donation. He experienced the joy of placing the bedkit in the hands of a child. He directly touched the lives of these families and sensed the hope that ensued! It is little wonder that he described Togo as “a remarkable place.”

SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD was registered as a Canadian Charity in 1970 by Mr. Murray Dryden and his wife Margaret, parents of legendary hockey stars Dave and Ken Dryden. To date, this unique Charity has raised in excess of 20 million dollars and distributed bedkits to 888,350 children in 32 different third world countries.

The bedkit distributed in Togo contained 19 items intended to fulfill the Charity’s mission of providing needy children with a safe and peaceful night’s sleep. The bedkit contained such things as:
  • covered foam mattress
  • blanket
  • pillow
  • pillow cover
  • mosquito net
  • shorts
  • sandals
  • towel
  • school supplies

SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD works with reliable overseas partners who arrange for all items to be made locally and assist in the selection of the neediest children. Our overseas partner in Togo is “Action Enfance et Developement Togo”.

For more information please contact Tamara Kaftalovich, Consultant, Maverick Public Relations Inc. @ 416-640-5525 ext/ 234.

Also available for as a PDF file via download.

PRESS RELEASE: Happiness Replaces Disbelief in Togo, Africa

Clarence Deyoung, a resident of Halifax, has witnessed this many times before in other countries that he has visited. At first the caregivers do not believe that an act of charity will occur for them. These people have often had promises made to them, but never fulfilled. But when the day arrives for the Canadian team to visit their village, their disbelief is replaced with joy!

Clarence and a team of Canadian volunteers recently completed the very first distribution of 3000 bedkits in Togo on behalf of a Canadian charity, Sleeping Children Around The World. This is a country in great need. In a country where malaria is rampant, when parents were asked if they had mosquito nets for their children, not one hand was raised. The parents were in awe at the sight of the children walking away with their bedkits on their heads – including a long lasting insecticide impregnated mosquito net.

Clarence and his team represented an exemplary Canadian Charity called SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD. This charity pledges to its donors that every penny of a $30.00 donation will be invested in the bedkit. The team that traveled to Togo paid all of their own expenses.

Murray and and Margaret Dryden, parents of legendary hockey legends Dave and Ken Dryden, registered this Charity in 1970 and to date this unique organization has delivered a total of 888,350 bedkits to needy children in 32 different third world countries.

The bedkit distributed in Togo contained 19 items intended to fulfill the Charity’s mission of providing needy children with a safe and peaceful night’s sleep. The bedkit contained such things as:
  • covered foam mattress
  • blanket
  • pillow
  • pillow cover
  • mosquito net
  • shorts
  • sandals
  • towel
  • school supplies

SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD works with reliable overseas partners who arrange for all items to be made locally and assist in the selection of the neediest children. Our overseas partner in Togo is “Action Enfance et Developement Togo”.

For more information please contact Tamara Kaftalovich, Consultant, Maverick Public Relations Inc. @ 416-640-5525 ext/ 234.

Also available for as a PDF file via download.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

PRESS RELEASE: A Promise Kept

Blair in Uganda
Linda and Blair Lesage had a deeply personal reason for volunteering to travel to Uganda to assist in the distribution of 6000 bedkits to very needy children in remote villages in this African country. They wished to honour a loving husband and father, James Lesage, who had fallen victim to cancer. These are the thoughts that were shared at his funeral:

“And now I lay me down to sleep.”

“We all know the feeling of the security and warmth of sleeping in our own beds. It is a cocoon when we are tired, sick or just feeling low.”

“It was important to James that he stayed home in his own bed. When he could no longer walk upstairs a bed was set up in the den. Eventually, he had to be moved into a hospital bed, but he insisted that he remain at home.”

Linda and bedkit recipient
“The security of sleeping in one’s own bed was the reason why James, Linda, Chris and Blair chose SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD. This is a registered Canadian Charity founded by Murray and Margaret Dryden. This unique organization ensures that 100% of all donations are invested in the bedkit. This Charity is run by volunteers who freely donate their own time and pay their own travel expenses. Each bedkit is made in the country where it is to be distributed, which reduces costs and ensures that the items in the bedkit reflect the cultural needs of the children. James, Linda, Chris and Blair share the philosophy of SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD in giving the gift of Peaceful Rest.”

“The peace and security that James received from his own bed was a gift that he wanted to share with others.”

Each Uganda bedkit represented a $30.00 donation and contained items intended to provide each child with a safe and peaceful night’s sleep. This included such things as:
  • mattress
  • blanket
  • bed sheets
  • towel
  • basin
  • mosquito net
  • t-shirt with shorts or skirt
  • sandals

For more information please contact Tamara Kaftalovich, Consultant, Maverick Public Relations Inc. @ 416-640-5525 ext. 234.

Also available for as a PDF file via download.

Friday, August 3, 2007

PRESS RELEASE: Polangui Water Boy


The respected Canadian Charity, SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD, recently completed a distribution of 5,000 bedkits in the Philippines. As with any distribution, there are memorable events that occur making each exercise very special. One such event occurred in Polangui!

Mr. Ken Graham has served as a travelling volunteer for SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD for many years. This year as he travelled to the Philippines he was very happy to have his daughter, Elaine McDougall as a member of the team.

In Polangui, the Canadian team was assisted by a number of local volunteers. One of the eager helpers was a young man who worked tirelessly to ensure that the Canadian Team always had water on hand. In the extreme heat of the Philippines this act of kindness is essential to the success of the distribution.

When the distribution was completed an inquiry was made to determine if there was anyone present who may have received a bedkit in a previous distribution. One person stepped forward. It was the 16 year old water boy! In the conversation that followed, it was discovered that this young man had received his bedkit 10 years earlier and the man who had placed it in his hands was Ken Graham!

This was a special moment for Elaine. “My father does not cry often, but tears of joy came as he could see the direct result of the gift that he had been privileged to deliver ten years earlier.”

SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD is an exemplary Canadian Charity which from its inception in 1970 has delivered 888,350 bedkits to needy children in 32 different third world countries. Its founders, Murray and Margaret Dryden, parents of hockey legends Dave and Ken Dryden established this Charity in such a way that 100% of all donations go directly to the bedkit. The Toronto Star recently listed this Charity as among its top five!

Each Philippines bedkit contained over 30 items funded by a $30.00 donation. It included such things as:
  • mosquito net
  • mattress/plastic mat
  • t-shirts (3)/shorts(3)
  • blanket
  • rain coat
  • school supplies (6 notebook,10 pencils, pencil sharpener)


For more information please contact Tamara Kaftalovich, Consultant, Maverick Public Relations Inc. @ 416-640-5525 ext, 234.

Also available for as a PDF file via download.

PRESS RELEASE: Expressions of Love

The day could not have been more beautiful. On July 7, Meghann Clark and Sean Gilpin exchanged wedding vows in the presence of family and friends. It was a day for new beginnings and celebration – not only for a special couple in Canada but also for 15 very needy children in Africa.

A brief reception followed the ceremony and then the guests were invited to enjoy a sumptuous dinner. Each beautifully appointed table contained a magnificent floral centerpiece and a picture of an African child. These pictures represented a very unique expression of love. Each of the children in the pictures had received a bedkit as a result of the generosity of Meghann and Sean. For the very first time these children would experience the joy of a peaceful night’s sleep on a proper mattress.

Leslie Banner speaks passionately about SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD. In June, she was part of a team that distributed 6,000 bedkits in Uganda. Fifteen of these bedkits were presented to children in recognition of the special vows that were to be exchanged by Meghann and Sean. This was Leslie’s 6th distribution trip to this Central African country. In that period of time she has personally touched the lives of 35,000 children. She has seen a beautiful country that is burdened by poverty and disease. She understands the ravages of HIV/AIDS. She also understands the true expression of love when a child receives a bedkit because someone made a donation of $30.00. She has developed a profound affection for Uganda – particularly for the children whose lives have been changed with the receipt of a bedkit.

SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD was registered as a Canadian Charity in 1970 by Mr. Murray Dryden and his wife Margaret, parents of legendary hockey stars Dave and Ken Dryden. This Charity prides itself in the fact that every penny of each donation is spent on the contents of a bedkit. Volunteers who travel on behalf of this unique Charity pay their own expenses! Recently the Toronto Star listed SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD as one of the top five charities in Canada!

The bedkits distributed in Uganda contained items of bedding intended to ensure that each child would experience a safe and peaceful night’s sleep. This included such things as:
  • mosquito net
  • mattress
  • blanket
  • towel
  • bed sheets
  • t-shirt/shorts or skirt


For more information please contact Tamara Kaftalovich, Consultant, Maverick Public Relations Inc. @ 416-640-5525 ext. 234.

Also available for as a PDF file via download.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

That Personal Touch: Donating to SCAW

Last Sunday's edition of the Toronto Star featured a story on two well-recognized Canadian charities admitting to using a discredited fundraising technique which involved more than just a "flat fee" being paid to fundraisers who knocked on doors, called on the telephone, etc. Please see the link to article for additional information.

Canadians that generously donate their money to help charities shouldn't have to second guess where their money is going, but rather they should feel confident that 100 per cent of their contribution is going to the cause at hand.

With that said, Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW), a not-for-profit organization based in Toronto, is dedicated towards providing bedkits to children living in underdeveloped countries, and was recommended in an article in the Toronto Star as one of the best charities to donate to.

Since the organization's inception 37 years ago by Murray and Margaret Dryden, parents of hockey legends Dave and Ken Dryden, more than 880,000 bedkits have been donated to children to help save lives.

Furthermore, SCAW prides itself on ensuring that 100 per cent of every bedkit donation reaches a child in need by sending volunteers to each of the different countries to hand-deliver each bedkit to the appropriate child. The child is photographed with the bedkit and this photo is sent to the donor.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Recyclers help Sleeping Children

Perth, Australia

Australian Les Wearne and the Scarborough Beach Polar Bears collect and recycle cans and send the funds raised to Sleeping Children Around the World. They've been doing this since 2004.

The top photo shows from left to right: Les Wearne, his Canadian wife Elspeth, and Alan Rimmer. They are about to deliver this year's load shown in the background to the scrap metal yard.

The second photo shows Alan Rimmer and John McDonald, owner of the trailer and four-wheel-drive car, making the load secure.

Les says, “ A lot of people contribute by collecting their cans and delivering them to us. We are happy to help in your fine charity.”

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Local resident helps Kenyan children catch some sleep


Sarah Axelson donated bedkits to thousands of children
... from The Mirror, Toronto, July 12, 2007

BY JUSTIN SKINNER
Sarah Axelson recently travelled to Nairobi, Kenya with the group Sleeping Children Around the World, to distribute bedkits to children in need.

After completing her education, Sarah Axelson wanted to do a little travelling. Unlike many in her situation who wind up touring Europe or taking long road trips, she also wanted to make a sizeable difference in the lives of others.

Axelson joined Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW), a not-for-profit organization that delivers bedding, clothing and other much-needed supplies to children in developing nations. She said she was drawn to the organization not only because of the work it does, but also because SCAW promises that every cent invested in the charity reaches those who the charity helps.

"The volunteers pay their own way to get over there and every piece of every donation winds up over there," she said. "It was really important to me that 100 per cent of donations went toward children and not toward administrative costs."

She and a team of fellow volunteers went to Kenya in the spring, where they handed out 4,000 bedkits in Nairobi, Kenya. The Mount Pleasant Road and Davisville Avenue area resident said her arrival in the poverty-stricken country came as a huge shock.

"I was really not prepared to see that kind of abject poverty," she said. "In the slum areas, there's no infrastructure at all - no running water, no electricity, none of the things we take for granted."

The volunteers spent their time not only dispensing bedkits but also interacting with the Nairobian children, an experience that made the trip as inspiring as it was rewarding.

"The best part of the whole trip was that when you got there, you remembered that wherever you are around the world, kids are kids," Axelson said. "They were dancing, singing, playing, and it was a lot of fun playing games and singing with them."

She added that the volunteers and children enjoyed their time together so much that the children were actually shocked when they were handed their bedkits, each of which contained a mattress, blanket, sheet, pillow and pillowcase, towel, clothing and mosquito netting.

"They were so happy just to have people to play with, they really didn't expect anything more out of it," she said.


An added benefit to the SCAW's work is that everything in the bedkits is purchased in the country where the volunteers are handing out the packages. That way, not only are local children getting invaluable supplies, but businesses get a boost as well.

Of all the items in the SCAW bedkits, the insecticide-treated mosquito netting is the most expensive, but by far the most needed. Every 30 seconds, an African child under the age of five dies of malaria.

Axelson was so moved by her experience with SCAW that she has already signed up with the organization again. She is currently on a waiting list for a trip in 2009.

For more information on Sleeping Children Around the World, visit www.scaw.org.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Helping kids get a good night's sleep

Donors to Sleeping Children Around the World have the satisfaction of knowing 100 per cent of their donation makes its way to children, as well as seeing the specific children their money has helped.
... from the Brampton Guardian, July 6, 2007


by ALICIA SINGH, Staff Writer

Here Marne Huys poses with two of the children to whom she delivered bedkits.

When Marne Huys visited Kolkata, India, in January she knew she would never forget the faces of its children.

Huys, who lives in Brampton with her husband, and a team of five volunteers from across Ontario travelled at their own expense with the charity Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW), to distribute bed kits to children who did not have the necessities required for a good night's rest.

Her time in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) was filled with exciting days of distribution under an intense sun and, according to Huys, it was worth every minute.

"Every time you meet another child, you know if you didn't have a shower when you left in the morning, the first child you saw that was the end of that. You didn't think about your shower," she says.

Making children more comfortable

SCAW seeks to help make the lives of disadvantaged children in developing nations a little more comfortable by providing them with a variety of necessities needed for sleep and everyday life. Some of the contents of the bed kits differ from region to region, but those donated in Kolkata included a mattress, pillow, clothing, soap, a towel, water bottle, lunch box, school bag and toothbrush-- among many other necessities. Bed kits are purchased for $30 and, after they are delivered, donors receive a photograph of their bed kit and the child who received it.

The lack of essential belongings, such as a bed to sleep in, speaks to the issue of child poverty. According to Free The Children, more than 650 million kids live in extreme poverty in many nations throughout the world, including developed countries.

However, the founders of SCAW believed poverty in poorer nations was increasingly difficult compared to poverty in developed countries due to an absence of efficient welfare or medical systems and charitable organizations.

After witnessing the effects of poverty in a developing country first-hand, Huys agrees it cannot be compared to developed nations.

"There are just too many people and they don't have the social system that we have."

Huys decided to get involved with SCAW about 30 years ago while working with the Girl Guides of Canada, after she realized it would be a great way for the Brownies to earn their public service points.

The 65-year-old continued her work with the organization as superintendent of her church where the congregation donated bed kits for charitable events.

Following those experiences, she realized that it was not only a great and unique way to give but also a successful way to teach children about giving to others.

Made the trip herself

"Kids don't always understand giving to cancer or giving to heart but they always understand giving to a poor child. You give them the bed kit, they try on the outfits, and they sleep on the floor and find out what it's like. It is much better on the mattress," said Huys.

After helping the organization from afar for a few years, Huys decided to make a trip to donate bed kits in the flesh and, in 1997, she visited the Philippines with SCAW.

That experience, coupled with the mother and grandmother's love for children, sparked a series of future trips. Huy's visit to Kolkata in January was her third with the organization. She also visited Mumbai in 1999.

She says one of the things that attracted her to the organization was the transparency of their work.

"I think that the most important thing is that the whole $30 that is collected goes to the child."

Huys also loves that the organization is uniquely Canadian. It was founded by Murray and Margaret Dryden, parents of legendary hockey players Dave and Ken Dryden.

On a trip to India in 1970, Dryden accidentally tripped over a child who had been sleeping in the street. Since he could not alleviate world hunger alone, Dryden figured he could at least help make children happy and healthy by ensuring they had a decent bed to sleep in. That very year, the Drydens created SCAW and distributed 50 bed kits in Pune, India.

Margaret passed away in 1985 and Murray in 2004 but little has changed. Working out of the former Dryden family home, SCAW continues to fulfill Dryden's dream of putting kids to bed all over the world.

To date, SCAW has delivered 883,850 kits worldwide. It was Dryden's wish have a million kits donated by 2010 and, considering the current numbers, it's likely that goal will be met.

Huys believes the vision and action of SCAW's operators and volunteers represents goodness in the human race, "I think it shows us we have very caring and giving people and that they do care for their fellow men regardless of where it is."

Returned to India

Huys choice to go back to India this year has left her with many memories, a longing to continue to reach out and help disadvantaged kids and a few realizations about the lives that some children lead.

"You think isn't it a wonderful life that they're living and they don't realize that they don't have a bed to sleep on?" she says, "And then you come back here and you see a child, my own grandchildren, with all these toys and you think, 'there's something wrong with this world.'"

For many of the children, the day they receive their bed kits is the best day of their lives because most of them have never been given anything.

"When you hand the bed kit to them and say 'This is for you' you can just see it's total shock but it's getting to be all smiles," says Huys. Children from the poorest families are chosen by their teachers and are given ID cards they must keep until the day of distribution arrives.

It was Dryden's belief that helping school children sleep well would ensure academic and life-long success.

Amidst all of their appreciation, the kids are also amazed at the idea of donating. "They're just wondering how the money can be collected over here and how it gets all the way across the ocean and buys them that bed kit and gives it to them because they just can't understand that somebody over here cares about them."

The thought, Huys said, gives her goose bumps.

Since 1970, SCAW has helped hundreds of thousands of children, still just a fraction of those in need, however.

Following the example of one Canadian couple, people like Huys are helping tuck children across the globe into a clean and comfortable bed at night, one that they hope will foster sweet dreams and success.

For more information about SCAW go online to www.scaw.org.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Late for his prestigious honour

Senior of the year volunteers many hours to help children
... from the Mountain News, Hamilton, Ontario, June 29, 2007


by Mark Newman

George Foster received the 2007 Hamilton Municipal Senior of the year Award from mayor Fred Eisenberger at the Sackville Hill Seniors Recreation Centre June 26. PHOTO BY MARK NEWMAN (Mountain Hamilton Mountain News Photo)

Organizers were getting a little nervous.

It was past 6 p.m. and they wanted to begin piping in the 25 nominees for 2007 Hamilton Municipal Senior of the Year at the awards dinner at the Sackville Hill Seniors Recreation Centre June 26, only George Foster had not shown up yet.

Mr. Foster didn't know it, but he was the one selection committee had chosen as senior of the year. Mayor Fred Eisenberger was slated to make the official announcement prior to the dinner after all the nominees had been recognized.

There was a noticeable sigh from some of the organizers when Mr. Foster arrived around 6:20 p.m. accompanied by his wife and one of two daughters.

The long-time east Mountain resident wasn't late on purpose. He was doing the very thing that had earned him senior of the year honours in the first place. He was helping children.

"The (Hamilton Children's Aid Society) called me and said they had an emergency, a child had to be taken to visit her father," said Mr. Foster, who has been a volunteer driver with CAS for the past five years.

Without hesitation, Mr. Foster drove the child and made it back to the dinner only a few minutes after the nominees had been piped in.

"Most of the things I do are for children," said the Stelco retiree, who figures he spends about 20 hours a week doing volunteer work.

Mr. Foster was surprised to learn he had been named senior of the year.

"It's a great honour," he said.

A very active member of St. Michael's Anglican Church for the past 20 years, Mr. Foster has been responsible for recruiting and training readers, intercessors and eucharistic assistants. As a warden at the church he helps with the building's upkeep and the financial well-being of the parish.

Mr. Foster has spent many hours as a volunteer with Sleeping Children Around the World, an organization founded by the late Murray Dryden (father of NHL goalie and MP Ken Dryden), that distributes sleeping kits (mattresses, clothing and school books) to poor children around the world.

In January, Mr. Foster was among a team of volunteers that spent four weeks distributing 7,500 kits to children in Mumbai, India.

Mr. Foster said he is planning to return to Haiti later this year as a member of Men for Mission International, a Christian organization that provides school supplies and other items to Haitian children and missionary workers.

Last October, he helped install a roof on a school in Coup David. To get to the school the 67-year-old Mr. Foster rode several kilometres in the back of a pick-up truck and then hiked another 90 minutes through jungle and Mountains.

For many years Mr. Foster helped organize the Walter Gretzky CNIB Celebrity Golf Tournament and he is the treasurer of the Sackville Hill Seniors Recreation Centre's Ukulele Band and often transports band members and equipment.

"He's a very active gentleman who has committed so much to the community," said Carolyn Kovacs, one of the members of the Hamilton Municipal Senior of the Year Awards selection committee. "He's done work both in Hamilton and abroad and I think it epitomizes volunteers and the wonderful experiences that they can have and what they can contribute to the community."

Ms. Kovacs said the 25 nominees is the most ever in the 13 year history of the award.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Kitchener Waterloo Non Violence Festival

Marilyn Hill and Bud Adams set up a Sleeping Children display at the Kitchener Waterloo Non Violence Festival on Saturday, June 16th.

The festival designated SCAW as its official charity this year.

We received donations totalling $238.25.

Children of Kenya get good night's sleep thanks to Etobians

In the Etobicoke Guardian, June 14, 2007
BY CYNTHIA REASON
From Kenya Album 2007

The one thing Etobicoke resident Veronique Presswood will take away from her recent mission to help the children of Kenya sleep better is the grateful expressions on their young faces.

"It's always the smiles of the kids - that's what gets you," she said of her two-week trip to Nairobi with Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW).

In March, Presswood, along with fellow Etobians Brenda Oliver and Duncan Macgregor, set out with three other volunteers to distribute 4,000 bed kits to the neediest children in the slums of Kenya's capital. The kits, consisting of a mattress, blanket, pillow, insecticide-treated mosquito net, light clothing, a towel and a few school supplies, left many of the children dumbfounded, Presswood said.

"This was probably the first time many of the kids had ever received anything new," she said. "A lot of them don't ever get out of the slums and the conditions they live in are just deplorable ... there's no running water and the bathroom facilities are beyond belief."

Since its founding in 1970 by Murray and Margaret Dryden - parents of legendary hockey stars Dave and Ken Dryden - the Canadian charity has delivered more than 869,000 bed kits to children in 32 different developing countries.

The Kenya trip was Presswood's second such journey - last year she travelled to the Philippines. Like all SCAW volunteers, she paid all her own expenses on both trips - a policy that ensures every penny of the $30 donation is invested in a single child's bed kit.

"Even then, you come home feeling like you got more than you gave," she said.

Not only that, but all of the materials put into the kits are sourced and assembled by overseas partners in the country of distribution. In Kenya that partner was the Rotary Club of Nairobi, which not only assisted in the selection of the neediest children, but also arranged for all items to be made locally.

"That way, the kits not only benefit the kids, but also put money into the local economy," Presswood said, adding that a donation towards a SCAW bed kit makes a nice way to honour a friend. "It's only $30 and it does so much."

For every donation of a bed kit, donors receive a commemorative photo of the child who benefited from their generosity.

For more information on SCAW or to donate, go to www.scaw.org

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Basics of Investing Seminar

Saturday June 9, 2007, 9:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Basics of Investing Seminar

SCAW volunteer Ted Swanston is raising money for SCAW and teaching people how to handle their money more wisely at the same time.

He says: "While most people have some familiarity with investing, many do not have the time in their busy lives to develop their understanding in this important area. I have developed The Basics of Investing Seminar. It deals with concepts fundamental to investing (I will not be recommending specific stocks or mutual funds). I am not connected with any financial institution, nor will I derive any compensation related to the seminar. I just want to help raise awareness of Sleeping Children Around The World, and to share my investing knowledge."

Topics Covered:
  1. Power of Compounding, Different Types of Investments, Return and Risk, Benefits of Diversification, Ideas for Investing, and Q&A.
  2. Impact of Income Taxes and Inflation, Borrowing, Selecting a Financial Advisor, Financial Planning, More Ideas for Investing, and Q&A.
Location: 28 Pinehurst Crescent, Etobicoke
Cost: Each participant is invited to donate $60.00 ($90.00 for a couple) to SCAW.
To register: (maximum 15 persons) email Ted

Monday, June 4, 2007

Great charities can be found, but it takes legwork

As part of an ongoing series, the Star looks at what makes a charity worthy of donations
... from the Toronto Sunday Star, Jun 03, 2007


by Kevin Donovan, Staff Reporter

Big-hearted Canadians directly donate $40 billion to charity every year, funding fights against disease, hunger, poverty and other causes in Canada and around the world.

Our governments give another $90 billion — funding school boards, hospitals and other big institutions considered charities under the law.

How do individual donors know which charity to support?

On the surface, it's almost impossible to tell. Charities can claim on official statements that they are doing good works — even if they are not.

The federal government's charity regulator has only 40 people trying to keep an eye on 82,000 charities. And every day, on average, another two charities are registered. When the federal Charities Directorate finds a charity is doing something wrong they can't tell the public.

As part of the Star's ongoing investigation we've found many great charities. Among them: Habitat for Humanity Toronto, Camp Trillium, United Way Toronto, Sleeping Children around the World, and Foodpath in Mississauga.

Why are they good?

Each one is heavy on volunteers, strong on good works you can see in action, and completely open to scrutiny. Each of the five have jumped through hoops to show they are doing a great job. The Star investigated and found that they are. We went beyond their published financial statements to look at their operations, interview staff and other people and groups who had contact with them.


Habitat for Humanity

Neil Hetherington, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity Toronto, runs a charity that has in the past five years built or is building 128 homes for people struggling financially. Habitat supports itself through an innovative "Restore" store that takes in building materials and resells them to the public. Their "grey power" volunteer team of retired professionals (lawyers, doctors, etc.) are often invited into a home renovation project to remove anything of value for resale in the restore. On Habitat's home building sites around the city, volunteers work with the prospective homeowner to construct a house, which the eventual owner pays for using an interest-free mortgage. Instead of giving people a charity handout, Hetherington said, "we are trying to break the cycle of poverty by giving access to capital."

What's an example of a big fundraising campaign for Habitat? Last year, they bought 10,000 brown paper leaf bags (at 69 cents apiece), put their name and slogan on it, and volunteers with wagons distributed them around the city with the idea that even if the homeowner who got the bag did not make a cash or material donation, it was still great curb-side advertising for a day or two. This fall they are handing out 20,000.

Habitat welcomes questions from donors. "We have a board policy that says any financial information is open to the public. You want to know how much a chair in our office costs? We will tell you," said Hetherington. His charity is very strict about how it presents information to the public. For example, all fundraising is fundraising (not recorded as public awareness as many charities do). Administration and fundraising is stated at 25 per cent of their expenditure annually, so 75 per cent of all expenditures are spent on good works. The Star finds that good charities spend at least 60 per cent of their budget on good works.


Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW)

This charity is over the top when it comes to delivering benefits and raising money on a shoestring budget. It's the charity founded by Murray Dryden, father of hockey goalie greats Ken and Dave. The latter, a retired principal, helps run the charity since his father died. At SCAW, they raise money to buy "bed kits" for children in developing countries. The kits differ depending on the country, but generally there is a comfortable mattress, a school uniform, raincoat, school supplies and perhaps a mosquito net. The charity spends absolutely no money on fundraising, because Murray insisted it all be word of mouth. Volunteers prepare the kits, volunteers travel on their own nickel (typically $4,000) to distribute the kits, and volunteers send out confirmation of donation photos to donors – all done from the Etobicoke home where Ken and Dave learned to stop shots in the backyard.

Dave and his wife Sandra just returned from a distribution trip to the Philippines where they and other volunteers gave out 5,000 kits to smiling children and their families. SCAW gets about $1.6 million in donations a year and 100 per cent goes to the bedkit program because an endowment fund left by Murray Dryden pays the rent and small salary of SCAW's lone employee.

"For the children and their families, and our volunteers, being involved with this charity is a priceless thing," said Dryden.

Foodpath

Based in Peel Region is one of those great food banks that gets donated food from individuals and grocers and then uses volunteers to truck it around and hand it out from their warehouse near Dixie Rd. and Dundas St. East in Mississauga. Ten thousand people pass through the food bank each month, and Beju Lakhani, volunteer fundraising chief, said their two issues are keeping up with the demand and paying the bills for electricity, gas and rent. "We're doing okay but I would have to say we are always on the edge," said Lakhani. He's the director of sales and marketing for a software company but spends many hours each week as a Foodpath volunteer. Half the people benefiting from Foodpath are children and the charity also supports local breakfast programs. Foodpath is so volunteer-intensive that most of its annual $500,000 budget is spent on acquiring and distributing food to the needy.


Camp Trillium

This is an innovative camp for children with cancer and their families. Their two campsites in Ontario, plus daycamps around the province, see 3,100 campers annually. About 80 per cent of Trillium's $3 million expenditure is spent directly on campers, with the remainder recorded as administration and fundraising.

The theme is this: Children with cancer, and their families, need a break – if only for a week. The camps provide a typical summer camp experience but parents, siblings come along with the camper. They have 100 paid summer staff and 300 volunteers – many counsellors are cancer survivors who attended the camp.

"Kids with cancer are still children," says Trillium development director Fiona Fisher. "They arrive at camp and they can be the first one up the climbing wall, they get to sing and play." The camps are funded by various community groups but among the most notable is an annual zero-cost Toronto-based event called Set Sail for Hope that brings the camp $155,000 each year.

Toronto yacht owners, at their own expense, provide their boats and skipper the journey. Restaurants like Rodney's Oyster House, Fred's Not Here and chefs at the Westin Harbour Castle cook up a fabulous lunch on the Toronto Islands (at their own expense) and then the skippers take their guests on an afternoon cruise. Corporate sponsors pay about $7,000 each (some give additional donations). Arthur Boas, a skipper and volunteer, said they organize the whole event with eight, one-hour meetings. Cheques are written by corporate sponsors directly to Camp Trillium, a camp that Boas said runs on the ultimate shoe string budget. "These guys hammer bent nails back into shape so they don't have to buy new ones."


The United Way of Greater Toronto

Old and familiar, the United Way raises money to distribute to other charities. Yes, it's a big organization with significant fundraising and administration costs. But what put it on our list was the heavy use of volunteers to raise money through workplace and other campaigns. Their public statements show that in 2005, $83.3 million was dispersed to other charities, out of total expenditures of $100 million. That 83 per cent is a good number in the charity world. The remainder of the money is spent on:administration ($2.8 million); fundraising expenditures to support volunteer campaigns ($9.9 million); and charitable works the United Way itself carries out ($3.7 million). One of the best things the Star found about United Way was the volunteer-based committees of experts who rigorously investigate charities United Way supports. That's why giving money to a United Way supported agency is a good bet.

There are, of course, other good charities around, but donors should get to know a charity before handing over any money. One place to start is The Charities Directorate, which makes all charity statements available online at: www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tax/charities

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Mission Festival in Hamilton

Sunday, May 27, 2007
Mission Festival: Caring, Sharing Around the World
St. John United Church, Hamilton, Ontario
195 East 38th Street
11 am to 1:30 pm

On Pentecost Sunday there will be an information day to familiarize the congregation about different organizations that help people locally, in Canada and around the world. SCAW will be there.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Local volunteer helped distribute bed kits to children in India

In the Stratford City Gazette, May, 2007

Stratford vet Doug MacDougald recently returned to his home in Stratford following a mission of mercy in Mumbai, India.

He travelled as part of a team of volunteers representing the registered Canadian charity Sleeping Children Around The World. The team distributed 7,500 bed kits in the area near Mumbai. All members of the team travelled at their own expense and without benefit of a tax receipt so the charity could fulfil its pledge to each of its donors that every penny of each $30 donation would be used to provide the items that the children received, states a press release.

Hockey legend Murray Dryden and his wife Margaret registered Sleeping Children Around the World in 1970 and to date the organization has delivered over 865,000 bed kits in 31 Third World countries.

The bed kit distributed in Mumbai included 20 different items intended to provide each child with a peaceful night's sleep and improved personal hygiene. All bed kits contained the same items including such things as: a sleeping mat, a cotton blanket, a wool blanket, a pillow, a towel, clothing (two sets), a sweater, a raincoat and a school bag.

Sleeping Children Around The World is a Canadian international not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing bedkits to children of any race and/or religion living in underdeveloped and developing countries.

SCAW works with reliable overseas partners who arrange for all items to be made in the country of distribution.

The Rotary Club of Mumbai was the partner for this distribution and fulfilled rigorous financial reporting to account for all expenditures.

This overseas partner also assisted in the selection of the neediest children.

SCAW PRESS RELEASE: Kenya Distribution

Unforgettable
From Kenya Album 2007

Don Potter struggles to put his experience into words. He says, “I don’t know how to start my report since so much is going through my mind”.

This is often the feeling that traveling volunteers articulate when they try to capture the strong emotions of a distribution for the Canadian Charity, Sleeping Children Around the World.

Don has recently returned from Kenya Africa. He saw slums where poverty is endemic. He now understands the threat of disease to these innocent children. He now better understands how it is possible that a child in Africa under the age of five dies every 30 seconds from malaria!

Don wrote about a child he encountered in the first distribution. This child was deaf and badly disfigured but he reached out to Don with a smile of uncontained happiness.

Sleeping Children Around the World is an exemplary Canadian Charity that pledges that every penny of a $30.00 donation will be invested in the bedkit. The six person team that traveled to Kenya paid all of their own expenses!

Murray and Margaret Dryden, parents of hockey legends Dave and Ken Dryden, registered this Charity in 1970 and to this date this unique organization has delivered over 869,000 bedkits in over 30 different third world countries.

The bedkit distributed in Kenya included 13 different items, including an insecticide treated mosquito net, intended to provide each child with a safe and peaceful night’s sleep. The bedkit contained such things as:
  • mattress
  • blanket
  • bed sheet
  • pillowcase
  • pillow
  • mosquito net
  • shorts
  • t-shirt
  • towel
Sleeping Children Around the World works with reliable overseas partners who arrange for all items to be made locally. In Kenya, the Rotary Club of Nairobi performed this valuable service. They account for all expenditures and assist in selecting the neediest children.

For more information please contact Tamara Kaftalovich, Account Executive, Maverick Public Relations Inc. @ 416-640-5525 or Grant Clark, Sleeping Children Around The World @ 416-231-1841.

Also available for as a PDF file via download.

SCAW PRESS RELEASE: Kenya Distribution

Canadian Charity Brings Hope to Kenya
From Kenya Album 2007

Brenda Oliver, who is a traveling volunteer for the Canadian Charity, Sleeping Children Around the World, characterizes the slums of Nairobi, Kenya in a most poignant fashion. She writes that “we witnessed the children living in deplorable conditions…no running water…unsightly garbage strewn everywhere…open sewers…” Brenda and her team mates, four of whom are from the Toronto area, now better understand why an African child under the age of five dies every thirty seconds from malaria!

This team of volunteers distributed 4000 bedkits to impoverished children in Kenya Africa. These bedkits contained not only desperately needed bedding items, but also an insecticide-treated mosquito net.

Sleeping Children Around the World is an exemplary Canadian Charity that pledges to its donors that every penny of a $30.00 donation will be invested in the bedkit. The six person team that traveled to Kenya paid all of their own expenses.

Mr. Murray Dryden and his wife Margaret, parents of legendary hockey stars Dave and Ken Dryden, registered this Charity in 1970 and to this date this unique organization has delivered over 869,000 bedkits in over 30 different third world countries.

The bedkit distributed in Kenya included 13 different items intended to provide each child with a safe and peaceful night’s sleep. Bedkit items included such things as:
  • mattress
  • blanket
  • bed sheet
  • pillowcase
  • pillow
  • mosquito net
  • shorts
  • t-shirt
  • towel
Sleeping Children Around the World works with reliable overseas partners who arrange for all items to be made locally. In Kenya the Rotary Club of Nairobi performs this valuable service. They account for all expenditures and assist in the selection of the neediest children.

For more information please contact Tamara Kaftalovich, Account Executive, Maverick Public Relations Inc. @ 416-640-5525 or Grant Clark, Sleeping Children Around The World @ 416-231-1841.

Also available for as a PDF file via download.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Dunsford man helps children around world sleep better

Article in the The Lindsay Daily Post Online Edition May 16, 2007
Catherine Whitnall

DUNSFORD - Vic Wilbee is helping children around the world sleep better.

For four years, the Kennedy Bay Road resident has been collecting aluminum beverage cans for Murray Dryden’s Sleeping Children Around the World.

Dryden learned first hand how vital a few hours of comfort and sleep could be in battling extreme temperature, hopelessness, illness and hunger when he travelled east from Manitoba seeking work during the Great Depression of the 1930s. That experience later made him determined to ensure a good night’s sleep is a basic right of every child.

It led him to develop Sleeping Children Around the World with his wife, Margaret, in 1970. A retirement project, they decided to provide bedkits first to 50 children in India. The concept quickly grew and became their life focus.

Since its founding, Sleeping Children has raised more than $17 million to provide bedkits for more than 700,000 children in 31 developing countries.

Wilbee admitted he has a long way to go before he’s able to fundraise to that extent, but he’s honoured to do his part. Last year, with the help of family, friends and neighbours - as well as generous strangers who learned of the project by word of mouth - Wilbee raised $3,000 by collecting aluminum beverage cans. Considering each can is worth one-and-a-half cents, that’s pretty impressive.

“It sounds like a lot, but it’s amazing how quickly it adds up,” he noted.

Learning of the Drydens and their work from an acquaintance, Wilbee thought it was such a great cause he decided to get involved.

“I think the best thing about Sleeping Children Around the World is that 100 per cent of what is raised goes to help the children,” he said. “Even the people who go there don’t get any financial support. They have to totally pay their own way.”

With everyone’s help, Wilbee said it’s not long before his bins fill up with a variety of aluminum beverage cans. Wilbee also takes cast aluminum barbecues and almost anything else made of aluminum, copper or brass. He has recently added the large metal satellite dishes and scrap cars to the list - the latter of which is split with Sleeping Children to cover towing and incidental costs.

Wilbee said every little bit counts.

“Four years ago, I collected $300 worth of aluminum beverage cans and I thought that was great,” he said, noting each $30 donation (Canadian) provides a bedkit of a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net (if applicable), clothing outfit, towel and school supplies. Kit contents vary from country to country depending on local needs.

Individuals and groups are urged to save their aluminum beverage cans and put them in clear plastic bags. They can drop them off in Wilbee’s 18 Deerwood Ave. driveway or call him at 793-9955. People can also e-mail Vic. Those donating scrap cars or unwanted satellite dishes - which are dismantled and sold for scrap metal just like the cans and cars - are asked to call Jim Foster at 793-2004.

For more information on Sleeping Children e-mail SCAW.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

SCAW PRESS RELEASE: Mumbai Distribution

7,500 Beaming Faces

Doug Macdougald can now reflect upon his experiences in Mumbai, India. He vividly remembers 7,500 beautiful children! Some had never been in a vehicle before. Many had never had their picture taken or had never seen a person whose skin was white! They were often cautious, shy and afraid. These children, through no fault of their own, were trapped in a cycle of poverty where their families subsisted on less than a dollar a day.

Doug also witnessed their joy when they received a bed kit – a gift made possible through the charitable work of an organization named Sleeping Children Around The World.

Sleeping Children Around The World is an exemplary Canadian Charity that pledges to its donors that every penny of a $30.00 donation will be invested in the bed kit. The five person team that traveled to Mumbai paid all of their own expenses!

Mr. Murray Dryden and his wife Margaret, parents of legendary hockey stars Dave and Ken Dryden, registered this Charity in 1970 and to this date this unique organization has delivered over 865,000 bed kits in over 30 different third world countries

The bed kit distributed in Mumbai included 20 different items intended to provide each child with a safe and peaceful night’s sleep. All bed kits contained the same items including such things as:
  • Sleeping mat
  • Cotton blanket
  • Wool blanket
  • Pillow
  • Towel
  • Clothing (two sets)
  • Sweater
  • Raincoat
  • School bag
Sleeping Children Around The World works with reliable overseas partners who arrange for all items to be made in the country of distribution. In Mumbai, the Rotary Clubs performed this valuable service. They account for all expenditures and assist in the selection of the neediest children.

For more information please contact Tamara Kaftalovich, Account Executive, Maverick Public Relations Inc. @ 416-640-5525 or Grant Clark, Sleeping Children Around The World @ 416-231-1841.

Also available for as a PDF file via download.

Monday, May 14, 2007

SCAW PRESS RELEASE: Chennai Distribution

Dryden Charity Touches the Lives of 869,550 Children

Richard and Joan Hryniw have just returned from Chennai, India where they completed another distribution of 5,000 bed kits on behalf of the Charity that they love! SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD has become a passion in their lives. They have been on many trips and are proud to represent this exemplary organization. Richard and Joan will tell you that this Charity insures that each bed kit arrives in the hands of a deserving child because a traveling volunteer personally places it in these small but appreciative arms. They will proudly announce that every penny of each $30.00 donation is spent on the contents of the bed kit because traveling volunteers pay all of their own expenses. They will reassure donors that all funds that are transferred to our overseas partners (often Rotary Clubs) are subject to a detailed financial report to guarantee that all expenditures are held to very strict account. But most of all they speak about the children.

SLEEPING CHILDREN AROUND THE WORLD was registered as a Canadian Charity in 1970 by Mr. Murray Dryden and his wife Margaret, parents of legendary hockey stars Dave and Ken Dryden. To date this unique Charity has raised in excess of 20 million dollars and distributed bed kits to 869,550 children in 31 different third world countries.

The bed kit distributed in Chennai contains 23 different items intended to provide each child with a safe and peaceful night’s sleep. Recently a mosquito net has been included in the bed kit to keep the children safe from malaria!

Bed kit items include such things as:
  • Mattress
  • Quilt
  • Bed sheets
  • Pillow
  • Towels
  • Mosquito net
  • Shirt
  • Shorts or dress
  • Woolen blanket
  • Plastic bucket
For more information please contact Tamara Kaftalovich, Account Executive, Maverick Public Relations Inc. @ 416-640-5525 or Grant Clark, Sleeping Children Around The World @ 416-231-1841.

Also available for as a PDF file via download.

SCAW PRESS RELEASE: Kolkata Distribution

Local Volunteer Reaps Rewards from Acts of Kindness in Kolkata India

Tom Chudleigh has recently returned to his home in Milton, Ontario from an exhilarating experience in Kolkata, India. Tom traveled as part of a team of six volunteers representing a registered Canadian Charity called Sleeping Children Around The World. This team distributed 6500 bed kits in the area near Kolkata, India. All members of the team traveled at their own expense and without benefit of a tax receipt so this Charity could fulfill its pledge to each of its donors that every penny of each $30.00 donation would be used to provide the items that the children received.

Mr. Murray Dryden and his wife Margaret, parents of legendary hockey stars Dave and Ken Dryden, registered this Charity in 1970 and to date this unique organization has delivered over 865,000 bed kits in 31 third world countries.

The bed kit distributed to impoverished children in Kolkata included 27 different items intended to provide each child with a safe and peaceful night’s sleep. All bed kits contained the same items including such things as:
  • mattress
  • nylon mat
  • pillow
  • bed sheets
  • mosquito net
  • shorts/shirt or dress
  • wool blanket
  • t-shirt
  • sandals
  • towel
  • woolen shawl
Sleeping Children Around The World works with reliable overseas partners who arrange for all items to be made in the country of distribution. The Rotary Club of Kolkata was the partner for this distribution and fulfilled rigorous financial reporting to account for all expenditures. This overseas partner also assisted in the selection of the neediest children.

For more information please contact Tamara Kaftalovich, Account Executive, Maverick Public Relations Inc. @ 416-640-5525 or Grant Clark, Sleeping Children Around The World @ 416-231-1841.

Also available for as a PDF file via download.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother’s Day Concert in Etobicoke

Sunday, May 13, 2007: 2 pm
Mother's Day Concert in support of Sleeping Children Around the World

There will be a concert of sacred and secular music performed by The Chancel Choir of St. James United Church, under the direction of Clive Dunstan Mus. Bac., A.R.C.T., C.R.C.C.O. With Special Guest Pianist: Annie Zhou, Age 8, and winner of the RCM Scholarship.

Location: St. James United Church is at 400 Burnhamthorpe Road, Etobicoke
Tickets: Adults $10.00. Children (under 12) $5.00
Information: St. James United Church (416) 622-4113

Don't miss this opportunity to treat your mother on Mother's Day to a wonderful concert and support a charity which aids thousands of underprivileged children of the Third World, through the dedication of Canadian volunteers.

Friday, May 11, 2007

The big business of giving - and the mom & pop story

Commentary in Inside Stratford/Perth that was published on May 11, 2007

It refers to the article mentioned here earlier.

One of the most striking details of the story we ran last week on Doug MacDougald and Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW) didn't actually get much mention in the piece.

The structure of the charity is designed to make sure absolutely every penny in donations towards bed-kits goes towards bed-kits. When a volunteer at SCAW's head office – a brown brick bungalow in Toronto – goes out to buy stamps, the money for those stamps comes from a completely segregated revenue stream.

Operating expenses (stamps, phone bills, that sort of thing) are 95% paid for out of investment income. When you send a cheque to SCAW, it either goes into the the operating account or the bed-kit account, and never the twain shall meet.

It's an interesting model because it's so austere. Everybody buys his or her own plane ticket, and if there isn't enough money to buy toner for the photocopier this month, there simply isn't any way to get it from the bed-kit account.

Knowing that it's easy to spend (and waste) other people's money, the Dryden family, of Toronto, have built a group that does the most possible good with the least possible opportunity for graft.

The disadvantage of this model lies in the independence of the organization. Non-profits that don't take government money, don't pool resources, don't broadcast their message with costly, sophisticated ad campaigns, and don't hire specialized administrative staff are very little fish, indeed.

Given the demands on the average donor's attention, the constant hectoring of disease lobbies and foreign aid groups and environmental advocates and so on, it's hard to imagine any kind of fair distribution of money to the best causes. When charities "raise awareness", they are really trying to raise awareness of their cause higher than awareness of other causes; otherwise, they won't get your support.

This leads to a kind of shouting match. Hardly the best way to choose how we allocate our "greater good" resources.
The alternative, of course, is to pass off responsibility for prioritizing charitable spending to someone who we believe is an expert, a professional. Just give the money to the government or the United Way and let them sort it out. They do this stuff all day, after all.

And the downside here is bloat, waste, petty corruption, and loss of control on the part of the individual donor. So pick your poison, I suppose. Still, the Drydens have done something pretty special, it seems to me, and it is hard to imagine a way to give money that would provide more good per dollar.

Here is a link to the original article.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Harbour Grace woman inspired by worthy cause

Article published in The Compass, Trinity and Conception Bays, Nova Scotia on May 8, 2007"

Bill Bowman, The Compass

Tens of thousands of children around the world are getting a more comfortable night's sleep, thanks to the inspiration and generosity of one man.

Murray Dryden may not be as well known across Canada as his hockey legend son, Ken, who went on to a political career as a federal cabinet minister and candidate for leadership of the federal Liberal party. But the elder Dryden will long be remembered as the founder and driving force behind an organization, which, for 37 years, has been helping disadvantaged children around the world.

Murray Dryden, founder of Sleeping Children Around the World came from humble roots, having grown up on a small farm in Manitoba.

As a young man, his desire to become independent saw him leave home. But instead of heading west, he headed east.

After more than two years of travel, he would end up in Toronto, a journey that, under normal circumstances, would have taken a matter of days.

But this was the early 1930s - better known as the dirty thirties - the years of the Great Depression, when abject poverty was rampant and the road to anywhere was a rough one.

Gwen Morris of Harbour Grace will never forget meeting Murray Dryden in 1989. Impressed by how "down to earth" Dryden was, Morris was also inspired by his strong dedication and commitment to the cause he was championing.

Last Monday, April 29, the soft-spoken Harbour Grace woman came to the Carbonear Memorial Library to speak to members of the Harbour Grace and Carbonear Library boards about Dryden and the organization he founded.

Recounting his first journey from home, she told the group: "Most nights he slept anywhere but in a comfortable bed. Very seldom having a good meal, he sometimes went for days without anything to eat. Most of the time, all he had was the clothes on his back."

But in Toronto, he worked hard to get on his feet and build up a successful construction business. Eventually, his success would allow him to travel the world.

In 1970 while travelling in Pakistan, Murray Dryden stumbled over a child sleeping in a street.

According to a volunteer worker with his organization, the image of that child was to grow and become the focus of his and Margaret's (his wife's) retirement years.

The image of that sleeping street child must have reminded Dryden of his own humble beginnings at home in Canada. He once said: "There is nothing more peaceful than a sleeping child."

When he retired in 1972, Dryden devoted all his time and energy to Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW), the new Canadian charity he and his wife had launched two years earlier.

The organization's main focus is to provide bed kits to children around the world, who do not have a place to put their heads at night.

The bed kits include: a mattress, blanket, pillow and pillow cases, a toy, two sets of pyjamas, pencils, paper and a carrying bag. Sometimes, depending on the location, other items such as mosquito nets may be provided, if they are needed.

The organization works in third world countries where kits are distributed, through churches, the Salvation Army, and service clubs like Rotary, YMCA and Kiwanis International.

It was through Kiwanis that Gwen Morris first met Murray Dryden. Gwen's late husband, Frank, was a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Carbonear and Governor of Kiwanis for Newfoundland and Labrador. They met Dryden at a Kiwanis International convention in 1989.

Children in India, Indonesia, Portugal, the Philippines, Columbia, Argentina, Thailand and Honduras have all benefitted from the bed kits provided by Sleeping Children Around the World.

While the donations to provide the bed kits come from Canada, the kits themselves are actually made up in the countries where they are being used - providing much needed employment there.

The numbers of kits distributed on each trip can vary from 1,000 to 11,000.

Some 5,000 bed kits were distributed to needy children in Kenya in March of this year, bringing to 869,850, the total number of kits provided since the organization was launched.

Recalling that when he started the organization, Murray Dryden's goal was to provide a million bed kits to needy children, Gwen Morris said last week, "they are getting close to reaching his goal."

One woman who helped distribute bed kits in India said: "There is such a huge quantity of unconditional love that accompanies each gift of a bed kit, that to be part of a recent distribution was a very healing experience for me."

In the early 1970s, when the organization was launched, the bed kits could be provided for $15 each. Now inflation has doubled that cost to $30, which Gwen Morris says, is still not a lot for people who live here in Canada, where we have so much, compared to those who live in third world countries.

When they started their worthy cause, she said, "the Drydens were determined that not one cent from donors would be used for administration."

Murray Dryden wrote three books: With God Nothing is Impossible, For the Love of His Children and his autobiography.

All proceeds from these works went towards SCAW. He also started three Christmas tree farms, the profits from which also go to the worthy cause.

To underscore how passionate Dryden felt about SCAW, he travelled extensively and spoke prolifically about his cause - up to as many as 30 speaking engagements in a single month, and some 257 presentations in one year (1990).

In 1988, Murray Dryden received the Kiwanis International Service Award of $10,000, which he promptly turned over to SCAW.

After devoting the last 34 years of his life to the cause, Murray Dryden died in 2004. He was 94. But for anyone who thought it impossible to give any more to any cause after one's death, the Drydens' family home was recently turned over to Sleeping Children Around the World.

After speaking at the Carbonear Library last week, Gwen Morris presented copies of Dryden's book, For the Love of His Children to the Carbonear and Harbour Grace public libraries. The books were donated in memory of her late husband, Frank Morris.

While most of the volunteers come from Ontario, donations come in from all over the country.

Sleeping Children Around the World is an organization not very well known in this province. Indeed most of those who attended last week's talk had never heard of it. But Gwen Morris feels so strongly about the organization and its work, she is willing to speak to church and community groups and do anything she can to help spread the word. "I think I've got some of the passion Murray Dryden had for it," she says.

Monday, May 7, 2007

No Empty Gesture

An article published in Inside Stratford/Perth, May 7, 2007

Local leaves big smiles, brings home a full heart

A Stratford veterinarian says spending more than two weeks in India distributing 7,500 bed-kits to children in the area around Mumbai (Bombay) has taught him lessons he won't soon forget.

Doug MacDougald, who, with four other Ontario volunteers, returned from India in February, told Inside Stratford/Perth, "We all know intellectually what conditions are like in places like India; we've all seen pictures, on television, in the newspapers. But in interacting with the people, and especially the kids, I feel I've come to know it emotionally. It's a very humbling experience, and the feeling of having gained a much broader perspective still hasn't faded from me."

The volunteers oversaw the distribution of bed-kits, each comprised of a sleeping mat, pillow, blanket, quilt, towel, lunch box, water bottle, rain coat, two sets of clothes, and a full complement of school supplies, on behalf of Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW). The charity was founded in 1970 by Margaret and Murray Dryden, the parents of politician and NHL goaltender Ken Dryden.

"I'm at a stage in my life where I'm looking to do different things, find different purposes," MacDougald said, "ways I can give my time and my energy." He talks about his parents' many years of involvement with SCAW, and the steady stream of photos of children receiving bed-kits their donations in his name, in his children's names, and latterly in his grandchildren's names, have brought in the mail.

His trip to India continues his family's decades-long connection with the subcontinent: his parents have always designated their bed-kit donations for children in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, in large part because his father was an RCAF officer stationed in India during the Second World War.

He went on to talk about some of the children he met. The distribution, he said, targeted children between 6 and 12 years old, and the children had been selected from area schools. Their parents, guardians, and grandparents, he said, were "auto-rickshaw drivers or construction workers, many, many of them making less than a dollar a day. They're making bricks, working in agriculture, or in textiles."

He mentioned a road crew he saw on one of the volunteers' drives through the countryside: "Even in road construction, everything is manual labour. There was a crew of men ditching beside the road, and they were digging the ditch with their hands." India has an abundance of people willing to work, he said, noting that "There is a huge demographic bulge. More than 50% of the 1.2 billion people there are under 25 years old."

And in spite of SCAW's good work, there are always more children who need a bed-kit than can be reached. MacDougald recalled one distribution at a school next to a brick yard. "There were these three little girls standing off to one side, among the bricks, watching, interested; but they didn't go to school." Because the selection of needy children had been done in partnership with local schools, kids like these simply remained invisible. But what struck MacDougald was the children's cheerfulness in the face of poverty, their "big smiles, excited play, and happiness in simple things."

SCAW's philosophy places a heavy emphasis on free-will giving and minimal administrative overhead. The organization says its financial structure and reliance on volunteers, in Canada and abroad, ensures that every penny of the $30 it takes to supply one bed-kit is spent on that bed-kit's contents.

Overseas partners take care of the actual purchase and distribution of bed-kits. In MacDougald's case, the primary partner agency was the Rotary Club of Mumbai, which co-ordinated the efforts of 55 local Rotary Clubs in the surrounding towns and villages targeted in this distribution.

Rotarians sourced all of the items in the bed-kits from domestic companies, selected local children in need of assistance, and organized distribution dates and sites. Producing the bed-kits in India cuts costs; as MacDougald put it, "You can get a lot more for $30 there." The kits also don't have to be shipped as far, and the substantial sum of donated money that pays for them stays in India.

Just as SCAW relies heavily on administrative volunteers and partner charities to keep overhead low, it doesn't subsidize the work of people like MacDougald. He paid for the trip himself; and, because SCAW's mandate excludes contributions from governments, he had to do it without a tax receipt. But that doesn't seem to stop people from signing up: "There's actually a waiting list" for SCAW's travelling volunteers program, MacDougald said. As for himself? "I've only been back for a couple of months, and I've already told them I'd be interested in going again."

You might also want to read a Commentary — May 11 which said more about Sleeping Children Around the World. We're the second item.