Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Knox Church off to great start in fundraising campaign

An article published in the Listowel Banner, March 28, 2007
by Dan McNee

Listowel's Knox Presbyterian Church certainly has a unique way of celebrating a milestone.

Rather than throwing a large celebration as part of their 150th anniversary, the church is instead throwing a large fundraiser. Kicked off on March 25, Knox Presbyterian is looking to fund 150 bedkits for Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW), a Canadian-based charity that ensures children have a proper place to sleep at night.

"It's important for the community to help these children," said Knox program coordiantor Lorraine Burns, "It's important that we give."

Though the program was only kicked off at the church last Sunday, 42 bedkits have already been funded at $30 each. That money goes a long way, as it provides an adequate sleeping mat, a pillow, a mosquito net, school supplies, and other items depending on the country where they are going.

The bedkits are assembled in the country where they will be distributed, elminating shipping costs and helping to contribute to the countries' local economies by creating work for the locals. One hundred per cent of the $30 is allocated towards the bedkit, as seen to by foreign service clubs similar to Canada's Lion or Optimist organizations.

"That's the way it should be," said SCAW travelling volunteer Bud Adams of where the money raised is directed. "These service clubs are the ones that really have the tough job."

SCAW was founded in 1970 by Murray and Margaret Dryden, parents of Liberal politician and Hockey Hall of Famer Ken Dryden. The charity has raised over $20 million in its 37-year history, and provided bedkits to over 800,000 children in 31 developing countries around the world, in Asia, South America and Africa. So far this year, 19,000 bedkits have been assembled for three regions in India, the second most populated country in the world.

"You're dealing with the poorest of the poor," said Mr. Adams. "We're looking for those whom (the bedkits) will benefit most."
Knox Presbyterian Church's bedkit campaign for SCAW runs until May. Donations can be made at the church every Sunday after service until that time, or through Lorraine Burns at (519) 291-4628. More information on Sleeping Children Around the World can be found at www.scaw.org