Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The SCAW Difference

As blogged by John Wroblewski on the Global Traveler Blog on July 7th, 2010

Dave Dryden has flown several thousand miles and is on his way to one million, but a different million was his goal (actually, originally his father’s goal), a goal that was met last year. Dave, through the organization Sleeping Children Around the World, oversaw the distribution of its one millionth bedkit. (Bedkits consist of a mattress, blanket, pillow and other bedding essentials.)

SCAW was founded by Murray and Margaret Dryden. Murray always thought a sleeping child was a beautiful thing on so many levels. He decided to capture this beauty by photographing some sleeping children, which he planned on turning into a book. On a picture-taking trip in India, he saw a child sleeping in the street and decided to do something about it. SCAW was born in 1970, and 50 bedkits were distributed in Pune, India.

Both Dave and SCAW have come a long way from their beginnings in the Dryden home in Toronto. Dave and his younger brother Ken went on to have stellar pro hockey careers. After retiring, Dave coached for several years, but his true calling was continuing what his father had started.

Now beyond the original goal of one million, Dave says SCAW has gone through a strategic planning process. While another million is certainly a goal, they want to emphasize “giving from the heart, not from a guilty conscience.”

What makes the success of SCAW more interesting is that they do no advertising. Dave told me their marketing committee (with a budget of zero) has to find creative ways to publicize SCAW. Perhaps their biggest and best publicists are the 100 volunteers who travel for SCAW. They come back so pumped up and spread the word themselves. They do also take advantage of free services, such as Facebook and a blogsite.

While distributing the bedkits, Dave had been to numerous countries, but says he has not been to a museum or art gallery, nor to the tallest buildings downtown. Instead, he spends his time with the people. He is always amazed at the universality of children worldwide, rich or poor. He also said “family” is probably the most common value he encounters.

SCAW has distributed bedkits in more than 33 countries. Because of the efforts of SCAW and people like Dave, more than one million children have received bedding. He is certainly a humanitarian, and over the years, he has become quite a global traveler.

– John Wroblewski, distribution specialist

Read comments on the Global Traveler Blog website