Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Children helping children = 43 bedkits

Submitted by Pat and Brian Tuddenham

Thought that we would let you know about something that we are really excited about. These kids have really done a great job.

The students and staff of Hillcrest Public school in Cambridge have been industriously wrapping pennies these past two weeks.

Children helping Children.

Kindergarten girls and boys bringing in sticky handfuls of pennies; older students generously providing from their piggybanks, sometimes enough to provide a whole bedkit. Working together, four hundred Canadian children have raised enough donations to provide forty-three bedkits.

The opportunity to help other children really seems to have touched a chord with these young people, their parents, and teachers. Their enthusiasm and generosity have overwhelmed us.

Christmas and Sleeping Children make an excellent match.

Hope that you have a very Merry Christmas.

All the best,
Pat and Brian

Monday, December 22, 2008

Repaid in smiles: One volunteer’s experience with 8,000 children in Bangladesh

Doug in Bangladesh.
From Bangladesh 2008 Photo Album
As published on

by Louise Chatterton Luchuk
December 22, 2008

CharityVillage founder, Doug Jamieson, and his wife Pat have donated to Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW) for several years now. SCAW donations provide bedkits to children in underdeveloped and developing countries. Bedkit items are specific to each country, but typically consist of a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net (if applicable), new clothes, towel, footwear, and school supplies. SCAW is a volunteer-driven organization and every dollar donated goes to purchase the bedkits. All administrative costs, including salary for their one employee, are covered by an endowment set up by founder Murray Dryden (father of Ken and Dave Dryden). This October, however, Doug Jamieson took things one step further and traveled to Bangladesh to help distribute 8,000 of these bedkits.

Says Doug, "My wife and I have donated because we like the idea behind the cause - that a good night's sleep is essential for a child's health and ability to learn at school. I decided it was time to see this work up close for myself." Like all SCAW volunteers, Doug covered his own travel and accommodation expenses. In addition, he did some fundraising with his CharityVillage teammates, friends, relatives and neighbours. The response was fantastic and totalled enough money to purchase 300 bedkits.

An event of a lifetime for all

During the two weeks in Bangladesh, Doug and his five Canadian teammates worked with volunteers from the Rotary Club and Lions Club in Dhaka. After the children donned their new outfits and had their photos taken in front of sample bedkits with plaques bearing donor’s names, they moved on to where Doug was stationed. It was Doug who had the joy of handing out the bedkits to each child. He says he enjoyed the assignment immensely because he got to see the smiles on the children’s faces when they got their hands on their very own bedkit! While Doug and the team worked in a cordoned off area, hundreds of people milled around and watched intently. "This is a very big event - possibly the biggest thing in living memory in some places where the distribution happened," he explains. "It seemed to me that life stopped for a while and everyone converged on the distribution site. People wanted to know what was going on and be a part of it."

"It seemed to me that life stopped for a while and everyone converged on the distribution site. People wanted to know what was going on and be a part of it."

On the largest distribution day, 1,300 bed kits were distributed and it took seven hours and an overnight steamer trip there and back again. Doug admits that it was pretty intense and tiring work (with only one day off), plus lengthy travel that was often over rough roads. Despite the bumpy ride, travel time provided a great opportunity to chat with team members and reflect on the experiences.

How do you put it all into words?

"Unless you've seen it," remarks Doug, "it's hard to convey the pervasiveness of the poverty and the spirit of the people. To our eyes, there seems to be a kind of disconnect there. While most have virtually nothing by our standards, they make their way with determination and good humour." Everywhere Doug and the team went, the people they met were entrepreneurial, hardworking, generous and friendly. He saw a lot more smiles on the streets of Dhaka than he witnesses on the streets of Toronto. Notes Doug, "I think if most of us were dropped into that society, we would have a very difficult time surviving, let alone maintaining a positive attitude."

Doug saw the country and met the people in a way that no tourist ever could. He talks about the many, many things he learned on his trip. Particularly interesting are his observations about philanthropy and community involvement. In Bangladesh, there’s no public funding for charitable work. It’s all privately funded and service clubs are the delivery vehicles. Without those service clubs, there wouldn’t be any civil sector in the way it exists in North America. He was really impressed by the commitment of service club members: "These were people of the business and professional class who had achieved a certain level of success, representing a very small slice of the total population. But they very clearly invested back in their community, both in terms of time and money. In Canada, people usually work through an organization, but there it was much more direct. Often it involved people going back to their community of origin to do something very personal and direct for the people."

When Doug returned home, he couldn’t stop thinking about what he had seen and been a part of in Bangladesh. "It's hard to put this into words," he declares. "It was like a movie playing in my head. I think I was just trying to make sense of everything I had seen and figure out whether we made much of a difference by going there. I've talked with others who have made these trips, and they describe similar reactions." Deep down, Doug knows, though, that he and his team made a difference in the lives of 8,000 kids and their families and he feels good about that. He also has a different perspective on life in developing countries. It’s not surprising, after listening to Doug talk about his Bangladesh experience, to know that he definitely intends to do it again.

In 2009, SCAW will reach their millionth child. If you would like to help them toward this goal, visit

To hear more about the trip in Doug's own words, check out the video he put together:

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Family Skate for Sleeping Children

Steven, Rita, Adam & Liana Pinnock are hosting a skating party at the Pine Point Arena in Etobicoke to support Sleeping Children Around the World.

In their announcement flyer they say:
Join us for our "Family Skate." (Bring your hockey sticks.)

You, your friends, and extended family members are invited to our 3rd Annual Christmas Skating party.

This year we will be supporting "Sleeping Children Around the World."

Click on graphic for a larger version.

Excel Funds donates to Sleeping Children

Submitted by Lynette Jenkins

In an email sent to its clients, Excel Funds notes that:
'in lieu of traditional Christmas greetings we are making a donation to "Sleeping Children Around the World" in their important endeavour of providing children around the globe the comfort of a good night's sleep.'

Click on graphic to see larger version.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Global News: Consumer SOS

INTRO: "The holiday season is a time of giving, so if you're planning on making any charitable donations this year, there are a few things you should know. In tonight's Consumer SOS, Sean O'Shea has some advice on how to make sure your donations are getting to the people who need it most."

Sleeping Children Around the World is given as an example of a 100% charity — the entire $35 donation goes to the child. Please note though that we don't ship bedkits to the child. The bedkits are assembled by Sleeping Children's overseas partners in the country where they are distributed.