Monday, December 29, 2014

New Mayor Spreads Christmas Cheer

As posted by the Meaford Independent, December 29, 2014

Meaford's new Mayor, Barb Clumpus, helped serve the annual Christmas Turkey Dinner hosted by the Christ Anglican Church on Sunday December 21.

Organizers said that 83 people from all walks of life enjoyed a great meal that was donated by many. Over $600 was donated at the door for an Ontario charity, "Sleeping Children Around the World" - enough to provide bed-kits and school supplies for 18 children.

Elves pictured above serving dinner: Barb Clumpus, Gene and Gail Latour, Carol Norton, The Rev. Cathy Miller, Dave McKenzie

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gift fair boosts local charities

As posted by the Vernon Morning Star, December 10, 2014.

by Staff Writer - Vernon Morning Star

Junior Chamber International’s Alternative Gift Fair was a success.

The event raised more than $6,000 for 13 local and international charities.

“Individual donations ranged anywhere from $5 to $1,200. It goes to show that even a little bit goes a long way,” said Sue Solymosi, event co-chairperson.

Those who made donations received gift certificates which they can now give as holiday gifts.

The participating organizations included the Community Dental Access Centre, the Family Resource Centre, the Good Food Box, JCI Vernon Helping Hands Project, the Kindale Developmental Association, the Road Home Rescue and Safekeeping Society, Sleeping Children Around the World, Special Olympics, Teens Count Too, the Vernon Women’s Transition Society, the Upper Room Mission, Wellspring Foundation for Education and the Zimbabwe Project.

“It was a great event for all the organizations to come together and showcase all the work they do in our community. We can’t wait for JCI Vernon to grow this event next year.” said Hailey Rilkoff, event co-chairperson.

Monday, December 8, 2014

The Bakken Invitation Announces 2014 Honorees: 10 Inspiring People Who Live On and Give On

As posted in the Register-Guardian, Minneapolis, December 8, 2014.

MINNEAPOLIS - December 8, 2014 - Medtronic (NYSE: MDT) today announced the names of 10 people from around the world who will be honored as part of the Bakken Invitation, a global program launched in 2013 that celebrates and connects people who, with the help of medical technology, have overcome health challenges and are now making a difference in their communities.

The Bakken Invitation Award recognizes outstanding contributions of service, volunteerism, and leadership. Every year, Bakken Invitation Honorees nominate charities of their choice to each receive a $20,000 grant from Medtronic Philanthropy. The honorees also travel to Hawaii in 2015 for a community service and celebration event where they meet Medtronic co-founder and program inspiration, Earl Bakken.

This year's Bakken Honorees serve communities around the world in many different ways, including fighting sex trafficking, providing access to scoliosis screening, and helping poor children in India get a good night's sleep.

"The stories of how patients are giving back remind us of the potential we have-big or small-to impact the world," Earl Bakken said. "When faced with a life-threatening health challenge, these individuals took the extra time they had been granted to do something great."

Bakken himself is a patient, with a pacemaker, coronary stents and insulin pump giving him "extra life," which he has used to give back through substantial community involvement.

Read the 10 honorees' stories below, and view many other stories of people around the world living on and giving on at the Bakken Community. On this site, anyone with a medical device can connect with other people who share similar health conditions, geographies or charitable passions. For every story shared, Medtronic Philanthropy will donate $10 to Project HOPE (Health Opportunities for People Everywhere) to help ensure that medical technology is available in underserved communities around the world.

For more details about each of this year's honorees, and to read their inspirational tips on living and giving, please visit

The 2014 Bakken Invitation honorees are:

David Watkins, 43 of Snohomish, Wash., United States "Start living your legacy." Throughout his childhood and into early adulthood, David Watkins was living with an undiagnosed bicuspid aortic valve. By the time he was diagnosed, he was at risk of aneurysm, and made a difficult decision to undergo surgery to replace his heart valve. The last words he remembers thinking as he was being wheeled into cardiac surgery were, "How will I be remembered?" After recovery, he decided to start living the legacy he wanted to leave: using the power of sport to help others live their dreams through the IronHeart Foundation.

Samantha Petersen, 17 of South Windsor, Conn., United States "Embrace what's difficult." Diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 11, Sami's young dream of swimming at the Olympics abruptly ended. At 13, she could she no longer swim. Even standing became extremely difficult after just a few minutes. In 2012, after her spinal fusion surgery corrected the curve in her spine, then 15-year-old Sami turned her passion and new-found physical freedom into SHIFT Scoliosis, an organization she created to provide screenings and support for all people with spinal conditions.

Rajnikant Reshamwala, 77 of Mumbai, India "Ask yourself: Can I help? Then why not do it?" A lifelong volunteer, Raj was actively involved in helping poor children in Mumbai when blockage in his coronary arteries made physical activity very difficult. It became hard to keep up with his community work. In January 2013, he received coronary stents to remove the blockage. He found himself reenergized, and rededicated to helping Sleeping Children Around The World, an international organization that helps kids get a good night's sleep.

Gretchen Merritt, 35 of Hopkins, Minn., United States "What makes you angry? Work to change that." Gretchen Merritt has lived with type-1 diabetes most of her life. For her, diabetes did not hold her back from accomplishing her goals, but it made her carefully think about her health, and how she directs her passion. At 22 she began using an insulin pump, which she says made a difference in her quality of life. She pours her passion into fighting to free sex slaves in India through Freedom Firm.

Joan Talkowsky, 65 of Tel Aviv, Israel "Take one little step out of your immediate circle." Joan Talkowsky knows the power of small, personal interactions. She is a long-time volunteer (her time spent rocking babies to sleep in the hospital helped doctors catch her second-degree heart block and get her the pacemaker she needed). Now she works with asylum seekers, foreign workers and others who have no civil status in Israel through Physicians for Human Rights and similar organizations.

Lucilla Bossi, 64 of Milano, Italy "Savor the fantastic gift of a busy day." Lucilla has lived with Parkinson's Disease for nearly 30 years, struggling to learn how to move throughout daily life without attracting undue attention. Since 2001, after receiving deep brain stimulation, she has worked to improve quality of life for Parkinson's Disease patients in Italy. Clint Benson Doyle, 27 of Kailua Kona, Hawaii, United States "Creativity is a healing force." Clint Doyle suffered brain damage from an early age when he experienced sudden cardiac arrest. Doctors told his parents he may not survive. But he has. And today, one brushstroke at a time, Clint helps children imagine their dreams and then turn them into reality. Clint, who now has an implantable cardiac defibrillator, leads art programs for children with special needs, where he inspires and challenges them to stay focused on their goals.

Krystal Boyea, 27 of Bridgetown, Barbados "Sharing your story can change a life" When diabetes is stigmatized and hidden, it can be even more deadly. Krystal Boyea has devoted much of her young life to sharing how she has lived a healthy, full life with diabetes and encouraging others. From her first online campaign to talks at the United Nations and TEDx, Krystal has become the face of diabetes in Barbados and the Caribbean. She also cofounded a groundbreaking diabetes clinic in Barbados. Her first project as a youth leader for diabetes awareness was to create giant posters of herself and others living healthy lives with the disease. Krystal has since cofounded a clinic and is a powerful voice for people living with diabetes.

Igor Chamilla, 59 of Sliac, Slovakia "When you teach, you learn." After Igor Chamilla's cardiac arrest, bypass surgery and pacemaker implant, he decided to learn everything he could about his disease and how to live a full life with it. But that wasn't enough for him. He now offers educational courses for 2,000-3,600 cardiac patients a year in Slovakia through his foundation, Kardioklub SK in Spa Sliac, which specializes in treating cardiac disorders.

Haruko Sato, 56 of Tokyo, Japan "Bloom where you are planted." In 2012, Haruko Sato underwent surgery to receive deep brain stimulation therapy to treat cervical dystonia, a painful condition in which the neck muscles contract involuntarily, causing the head to twist or turn to one side. She now works tirelessly to support dystonia patients as well as people with all sorts of disabilities in Japan.

For additional information and photos of the 2014 Honorees, visit

About Medtronic Philanthropy Medtronic Philanthropy focuses on expanding access to quality chronic disease care among underserved populations worldwide, in addition to supporting health initiatives in communities where Medtronic employees live and give.

About Medtronic Medtronic, Inc. (, headquartered in Minneapolis, is the global leader in medical technology-alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life for millions of people around the world.


Contacts: Rich Fischer Public Relations +1-763-505-2975 Caroline Geiser Exponent PR +1-612-305-6194

Friday, December 5, 2014

Gift fair provides alternatives

As posted in the Vernon Morning Star, December 5, 2014.

By Staff Writer, Vernon Morning Star

The fifth annual Alternative Gift Fair takes place Saturday.

The event, which is hosted by Junior Chamber International, is at the Arbour on 27th Street (next to Vernon Alliance Church) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The fair offers holiday shoppers an easy way to buy gifts of charitable donations and to support their favourite causes. Each participating organization offers a variety of meaningful gifts of help in price ranges that start as low as $10. Shoppers receive cards and inserts that identify their donations.

“We have a fantastic group of organizations participating this year,” said Sue Solymosi, JCI Vernon Alternative Gift Fair co-chairperson.

“It’s the perfect place to pick up meaningful gifts for family and friends. We even had a few businesses buying gift certificates to give out to staff and clients last year.”

In 2013, the fair raised more than $5,000 for local organizations.

“This time of year is the perfect time to give back to your community,” said co-chairperson Hailey Rilkoff, “These donations are great to add to your holiday shopping list.”

Participating organizations are the Community Dental Access Centre; Family Resource Centre; Good Food Box; JCI Vernon Helping Hands Project; Kindale Developmental Association; Road Home Rescue and Safekeeping Society; Sleeping Children Around the World; Special Olympics – Vernon; Teens Count Too; Vernon Women’s Transition Society; Upper Room Mission; Wellspring Foundation for Education; and the Zimbabwe Project.

For more information, e-mail or visit

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Brooklin teacher pays it forward

As posted at Whitby This Week, November 26, 2014.

Shelley Herder, a teacher at Winchester Public School, exemplified the spirit of volunteering on her recent trip to help children in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka experienced more than 25 years of violence in a civil war which recently ended when government forces seized the northern area of the country.

Through an organization called Sleeping Children Around the World, and at their own expense, Ms. Herder and five other Canadians volunteered to deliver bed kits to 4,000 of Sri Lanka’s neediest children.

Ms. Herder and her team were helped by the local Sri Lankan Rotary Club, which provided a bus and aided with translations. Sri Lankan teachers were asked to nominate children between the ages of six and 12 who were most in need. Each child received a bed kit consisting of two sets of locally made clothes, a backpack, mosquito net, water bottle, pillow, pajamas and paper scribblers.

Bed kits are made possible by individual donations of $35. Each donor receives a picture of the child they helped along with a tag showing the donor’s name.

Ms. Herder heard about the program last year when Canon Susan Sheen visited St. Thomas Church in Brooklin and shared experiences about her trip to Bangladesh. SCAW is completely run by volunteers and 100 per cent of all donations reach the children, an important aspect of the program for Ms. Herder.

She explained that to avoid advertising costs, the only form of promotion is for volunteers to share their stories. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

For more information on Sleeping Children Around the World or to donate a bed kit, contact Shelley Herder at or visit

With Christmas on its way there are programs close to home that can also use a little help. The Brooklin Christmas Hamper program is happening again this year and organizers are looking for volunteers or donations for local families. Contact David Jacob at for more information.

Thank you to everyone for sharing your many stories and events from around Brooklin. If you have a story or upcoming event, please e-mail me at .

Rob Hanson is the executive director for the Hometown Music Council, workshop director for Brooklin’s Mini Idol and a director for the Brooklin Spring Fair.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Give Smart: Sleeping Children Around the World

As posted by the Toronto Star, November 23, 2014.

By Katelyn Verstraten, Staff Reporter, Special to the Star

Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW) was founded in 1970 by Murray and Margaret Dryden, parents of hockey goalies Ken and Dave Dryden. The Drydens dreamed of a world where every child benefits from a good night’s sleep, and decided to donate 50 “bed kits” to children living in poverty in India.

Forty-four years later, the charity has donated more than 1.3 million kits to children around the world. This year, around 58,000 will be distributed, according to Dave Dryden, chair of the SCAW board.

“Because my mom and dad grew up in the Depression, they really valued getting a good night’s sleep — otherwise you were useless the next day,” said Dryden, laughing. “And it’s true. Our goal with the children is to provide a sense of joy, a good night’s sleep, and hope for the next day.”

Where your money goes

SCAW distributes bed kits in nine countries, including Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Tanzania, Uganda, and Honduras. The kits differ depending on climate and culture, but typically include a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net, clothing, and school supplies.

“If we talk to the parents and kids, the big thing from their perspective is education,” said Dave. “That’s what they figure is the way to get out of the poverty trap. Hope is a big part of this.”

The charity works with overseas partner organizations, says Dave, and all bed-kit items are made or purchased within the country of distribution. SCAW volunteers travel to the country — paying their own expenses — to help with distribution. A photo is taken of each child with the bed kit, and sent to the Canadian donor.

All administrative costs come out of the SCAW legacy fund created by the Dryden parents. When people donate, said Dave, 100 per cent of the money goes into the bed kits.

Tri-City Gospel Chorus in Stratford

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Doing good all in the family for the Brownes

As posted by the Mississauga News, November 20, 2014.

By Joseph Chin

MISSISSAUGA — Sometimes time just flies by when you’re engaged in a labour of love.

Claire Browne was in Grade 8 at Mississauga’s Green Glade Senior Public School when she organized a fundraiser for Sleeping Children Around the World, an organization that donates bed kits to children in underdeveloped countries.

Now in her fourth year at McMaster University, she’s still at it.

On Dec. 11 she and her brother Adrian, in his second year at the University of Guelph, will take time off from their studies to help host the annual Holiday Cheer to benefit SCAW.

It takes place at The Erin Mills Pump, 1900 Dundas St. W., starting at 7 p.m. Everyone is invited.

Holiday Cheer was started by the siblings’ parents – Jim and Lisa Browne – 13 years ago as a holiday get-together with neighbours and friends (hence the name Holiday Cheer). While they were at it they passed around the hat and donated the money to a worthy cause.

The Brownes also organized other fundraising initiatives.

“The first two years my family and I had toy drives to aid an emergency women’s shelter in Mississauga. The third year we collected toys for the oncology department at Rouge Valley Hospital,” said Jim.

Then his wife, a longtime teacher at the Peel school board, heard about SCAW from her principal.

Since its founding by Murray and Margaret Dryden (parents of NHLers Dave and Ken Dryden) in 1970, the Etobicoke-based charitable organization has raised more than $23 million to provide bedkits for children in underdeveloped and developing countries. Each kit, which costs $35 to put together, contains a mat, pillow, sheet, blanket, clothing, towel, school supplies and a mosquito net, if needed. In 2009 it reached its millionth child.

“When Lisa talked to me and our children about this organization, we knew that we had to get involved,” said Browne. “By raising kits for these children, we are giving them hope for a better life and a good night’s sleep.”

In the nine years to date, the Sherwood Forrest family has raised funds for more than 1,800 kits. The kits, he noted, go a long way because they can benefit the entire family and a lot of the stuff can be handed down to younger children.

Holiday Cheer will be around for a long time.

“We have always imparted on our children for them to get a good education because an education gives you options,” Browne said. “When Lisa and I are no longer able to carry on this event, I have the utmost confidence in my children that they will carry this tradition on.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Eileen Rademacher Helps SCAW

Submitted by Eileen Rademacher
Click on graphic to see larger version.

Sunday, November 30th 2014

The Shaver Homestead

450 The West Mall
10am to 3 pm

I will have a table at this
event selling my art work.
All proceeds will be donated

Global Gift Mall offers unique ideas

As posted by the Goderich Signal Star, November 19, 2014.

Lakeshore United Church in Goderich is hosting the eighth annual Global Giving Mall on Sat., Nov. 22 and Sun., Nov. 23.

This event offers unique opportunities to source alternative ideas for Christmas gift giving that benefit local and international relief and aid projects.

The mall features displays by charitable organizations offering fair trade items for sale or “gifts-in-kind,” which can be purchased in the name of a loved one and donated to assist Third World and Canadian relief projects.

Participating charitable groups include Ten Thousand Villages, Friends of the Orphans Canada, Sleeping Children Around the World, Canadian Foodgrains Bank, Fair Trade Coffee and Tea and local relief initiatives. There is truly something to appeal to everyone’s interest.

“Consider a gift that spreads peace and hope in the world and goes a step beyond the traditional consumptive giving of Christmas,” organizers said in a media release. “Gifts of this nature make a true difference in the lives of those less fortunate around the world.”

All proceeds from the mall go directly to the charities to support existing and ongoing programs.

The event takes place in the gym at Lakeshore United Church, 56 North St. in Goderich on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A light lunch featuring “Soups of the World” is available on Saturday from noon to 1:30 p.m. for an $8 donation.

For more information, contact the church office at 519-524-2103. Everyone is welcome.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Fundraising Dinner in Ayr

Submitted by Helen Scutt.

Jan Gayman helps SCAW

Submitted by Jan Gayman.
I wanted to share something that two friends of mine have been doing for the past four years. In 2010 after I shared my first experience of traveling with SCAW with my choir friends, Jan and Jill, they began a fundraising project. Jan is a quilter and decided to use up her left over fabric by making gift bags in different sizes. She sells them at choir practice and other venues and buys bed kits with the money raised. She has purchased over 20 to date. Jill helps her with the organization and also makes gift cards to sell with the bags. Here are two photos of this fundraising project.

Jan Hember selling gift bags she has sewn.
The proceeds go to the purchase of bedkits.

Jan Hember’s gift bags and Jill Evan’s gift cards for sale. Jan and Jill are members
of the Waterloo County Teachers’ Choir. They began this project after hearing about
a fellow choir member’s experiences as a SCAW traveling volunteer.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Book Santa Experience now at Sherway Gardens

As posted by the Etobicoke Guardian, November 10, 2014.

Book your Santa Experience at Sherway Gardens early to avoid disappointment.

Santa Claus has returned from the North Pole to Sherway’s centre square to take children on a journey of fun.

Five 30-minute shows followed by 20-minute photo sessions run daily at 9:30 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.; 2 p.m.; 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Maximum two adults may accompany each child. Parents are encouraged to take photos.

Santa is at Sherway until Dec. 19.

Reservations available strictly online. Visit to order or for more information. All ticket sales are final.

Tickets are $15 per child. All proceeds benefit Etobicoke-based Sleeping Children Around the World and The Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.

In the past 12 years, Sherway has raised more than $400,000 for Sleeping Children Around the World. The Children’s Wish Foundation is a new recipient this year.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Kids Art for a Cause

As posted by Global News, November 7, 2014.

By Sarolta Saskiw

Click graphic to see video.

They are not your typical grade two and three class.

They are the students of Westminster Elementary School, looking to make a big difference on a global scale. They started their very own non-profit organization, Kids Art for a Cause.

“Young kids have this drive and this desire to want to change the world, but often they just don’t know how to go about doing it,” said teacher Grant Bertamini.

The concept encourages students in any grade to create art work based on social issues. They can then sell their work on the Kids Art for a Cause website with 100 percent of the proceeds going to their charity of choice.

Bertamini, who came up with the idea, said it is a great way for his students to be creative, while learning about the importance of giving back.

“I feel like our world is broken in a lot of ways and we need to fix it, and this is the next generation of change makers.”

Bertamini’s class did their first project in October. They donated all the proceeds to Sleeping Children Around the World, which provides bedding kits to kids in developing countries.

“If there’s one thing I can teach these kids is that they are powerful. They don’t have to be passive in their lives and in this world. They can create change.”

Once the word got out about Kids Art for a Cause, other local schools and youth groups have expressed interest in getting their children involved.

To learn more about the organization, please visit:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kids’ artwork making a world of difference

As posted by the Lethbridge Herald, October 29, 2014.

By Nick Kuhl
Lethbridge Herald

Grade 2 and 3 students at Westminster Elementary School are already learning about the importance of helping others.

As part of a project launched by the new non-profit organization Kids’ Art for a Cause, the children have created a series of paintings with starry skies symbolizing that everyone sleeps under the same sky and everyone deserves a good sleep.

They have then been selling the works online to raise money for the charity Sleeping Children Around the World, which provides bedkits to children in developing countries.

“It’s curriculum driven; in social studies, we’re learning about quality of life and so I wanted to choose something tangible that kids understand,” said Grant Bertamini, a Grade 2/3 teacher at Westminster Elementary School and the founder and president of Kids’ Art for a Cause.

“We looked at some pictures of kids’ sleeping conditions in different parts of the world. For some kids, where they sleep is downright unsafe. What it all comes back to for us, is we’re trying to improve somebody’s quality of life.”

“We started painting because some people don’t have beds,” said student Kadence Boyle, 8.

The paintings have been up for sale on the website, with 14 having been sold as of Monday afternoon and seven still available.

Bertamini said the idea behind starting Kids’ Art for a Cause was to employ a streamlined process for donating money to charity. He incorporated the organization, earned the non-profit status and got a sponsor to cover all of the overhead costs, ensuring that all donations go directly to the charity.

Kids’ Art for a Cause is also planning to develop other fundraising projects with groups of kids in other schools, as well as youth groups, beginning next year.

“One of the points of this is that we raise money for charity. But that’s almost secondary,” Bertamini said.

“The bigger thing for me is that we’re showing kids that if there’s something about the world that you don’t like, you can change it. If they grow up feeling like they can drive positive change, then they’ll grow up to be difference makers.”

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Roxborough Retirement Residence helps kids

As posted on Newmarket Era, October 9, 2014.

By Chris Simon

Many children across the world can sleep a little safer, thanks to residents at a Newmarket retirement complex.

The Roxborough Retirement Residence collected about $900 for Sleeping Children Around the World, a Canadian charity that provides bed kits to kids living in 33 countries, during a fundraiser that included a presentation by Sandra Riches, whose parent lives in the facility.

Riches, who volunteered to hand out kits for the charity in India last year, said Sleeping Children makes a difference in the lives of families in developing countries.

“In some parts of the world, children do not have what they need to have a good night’s sleep,” she said during her presentation at the residence. “The goal is to build a world where children benefit from the comfort of a good sleep.”

Seeing the effects of the initiative firsthand prompted Riches to relay the importance of the charity’s work.

“Some of the family stories are just heart wrenching, but the children are happy,” Riches said of her visit to India. “They’re coming from great distances to a central spot to get the kits. Some of them travelled four hours by foot. There’s never enough to go around.”

Each bed kit consists of a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net (if applicable), clothes and school supplies. Kits cost $35 each.

Since its founding by Murray and Margaret Dryden in 1970, Sleeping Children has raised more than $23 million, according to the charity’s website.

The organization has helped more than a million kids.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Waterloo group’s menstruation kits help keep Kenyan girls in school

As posted on the Metroland website, September 3, 2014.
WATERLOO — In February, Brenda Porter was preparing to leave Kenya after a volunteer stint with the charitable organization Sleeping Children Around the World.

This had been her fourth trip with the organization but an unexpected encounter sent the Waterloo woman in a new direction.

“On my last night, I met these women from Australia,” she said. “They had these (menstruation) kits with them. I knew nothing about this.”

The women were volunteers with the U.S.-based charity Days for Girls, a worldwide organization that provides young women with kits containing eight washable pads with polyurethane shields, a plastic bag for washing soiled pads, underwear, soap and a pad holder with snaps, all packed in a drawstring bag.

The kits are simple and cost just $5 to produce but make a tremendous difference.

Porter said she had never thought about how women in Third World countries coped with menstrual flow, particularly those who could not afford sanitary napkins.

For many school-aged girls, the problem is so troublesome they simply stay indoors for the duration of their period, which affects their education.

“It’s a huge problem,” Porter said. “Girls are missing five days of school a month and it’s not being talked about.”

In 2009, the Forum of African Women Educationalists conducted a study in Uganda and reported that more than half the girls from 11and 13 drop out of school due to lack of sanitary pads, water for washing or separate bathroom facilities. They face teasing from boys when they leak through to their clothes.

The report also found that girls sometimes perform sexual favours to earn enough money to buy sanitary pads.

Girls will use leaves, mattress stuffing, newspaper, corn husks, rocks, anything they can find when on their period.

Returning to Canada, Porter immediately recruited friends to start making kits and together they joined Days for Girls as a team. The organization has nine chapters in Canada plus 11teams, a designation that could lead to a full-fledged chapter.

“I have 10 helpers and friends of friends,” said Porter, whose dining room table is piled high with fabric, some of it donated, some purchased. When she found a serger, used for trimming and sealing seams, advertised on Kijiji, the seller was happy to donate the machine for the cause.

“It’s an industrial serger from the 1920s,” Porter said. “He was trying to sell it for $500. It’s a little bit of a monstrosity, but I met a woman who could work that serger.”

That woman was 71-year-old Pat Jarvis, of St. Jacobs.

“It took me back to when I started sewing in England,” said Jarvis, who, after immigrating to Canada, worked at Forsyth Shirts in Kitchener and New Balance. She was very familiar with the old serger.

“I had my doubts it would run, but it did,” she said. The machine, with its heavy, cast-iron base, sits in her living room, a testament both to the past and a brighter future for Kenyan girls.

“When you think about it, it’s something we all have to deal with as women, but how when the resources are very slim,” she said. “It was a real eye-opener.”

Several nights a week, team members sit at craft tables cutting material and sewing, sewing, sewing. The first shipment of 25 kits was delivered to Kenya by a friend. The real adventure starts Sept. 14, when Porter’s 23-year-old daughter, Claire Lockhart, travels to Kenya for three months where she will work at a vocational school teaching girls to make their own kits with supplies from Canada. As well, Lockhart will distribute 50 kits made by the Waterloo Region volunteers.

Lockhart, a recent graduate of McMaster University, is starting the nursing program at Conestoga College in January and with a few months of inactivity looming this fall, she volunteered.

“I am really excited about this,” she said. “I’ve travelled but never in a Third World country.”

Lockhart discovered volunteerism though her mother who, in turn, had learned from her own mother.

Porter works as an efficiency expert in the insurance industry and uses her vacation time for overseas volunteer work.

“My mom did a lot of volunteering when I was growing up — it was always being modelled,” she said.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Seaforth Couple travels to the Philippines to help Sleeping Children

As published in the Huron County Focus, May 30, 2014.
Click graphic to see a larger version.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

SCAW Travelling Volunteer in Globe and Mail

As published in the Globe and Mail, May 29, 2014.


Arrogance astounds


Having recently returned from Togo, Africa, may I suggest that the next summit on maternal, newborn and child health take place in a small rural village like Ledikope, Agrippa, Goudeve or Agoekondji in the areas northwest of Lome, Togo – not in a posh Toronto hotel.

Delegates could sit on a dirt floor in a hut with temperatures hovering around 38 C and have limited access to clean drinking water – but they could actually listen to the mothers, teachers and principals who know what they need for the survival and good health of children in the villages.

They would get a first-hand view of the daily struggles for women as they rise at dawn to get water, find food and take their children to school. The women know what they need, but in the West we still like to tell them what we will do to solve these issues.

Our arrogance astounds me. The Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health says, “We also engage stakeholders – charities, universities, businesses and governments.”

What about the women and children? Aren’t they the stakeholders who must be consulted first?

M.L. (Peggy) Morrison, Oakville, Ont.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

CHSS Redwalk 2014

As posted by the Clinton News Record, May 28, 2014
Each year, a committee of teachers and students at CHSS participate in a fundraiser known as the “Walk-A-Thon” in support of their school and other organizations.
This year, students walked almost 16 kilometres on May 22, in the name of Bike 7650/Jumpstart and Sleeping Children Around the World, as well as fundraising for a new mascot costume for the school.

According to the school’s website, the committee selected Bike 7650 to support current CHSS student, Claire Fleming, and former CHSS student, Will Fleming, who are biking across Canada to raise money for Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart program, which allows children to participate in sports and recreational activities.

The team also Sleeping Children Around the World in order to recognize the importance of helping children who are less fortunate in other countries. Sleeping Children Around the World provides bedkits to children in underdeveloped countries. Each bedkit contains mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net, clothes and school supplies.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Little Current United Church Women host presbytery spring rally

As posted by the Manitoulin Expositor, May 21, 2014

Attendees of the Sudbury Presbyterial UCW spring rally sing ‘It’s a Small World’ during the event which was hosted by Little Current United Church women last week.
LITTLE CURRENT—Last week the Little Current United Church (LCUC) hosted the Sudbury District Presbyterial United Church Women annual spring rally, bringing together UCW members from across Sudbury and the North Shore to network, exchange ideas and sing.

“We had over 50 women, representing eight different areas across the district, attend our spring rally last Wednesday,” explained LCUC UCW co-president Helen Gordon. “It was a great day socializing, singing and everyone really enjoyed our guest speaker Leslie Fields. It was our year to host and we were really thrilled with how the day went, though it’s always a good day—a chance for everyone to recharge their batteries.”

After morning registration, the UCW held a book review discussion, followed by lunch at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church across the road, prepared by the Anglican Church Women (ACW).

In the afternoon, guest speaker Leslie Fields discussed the Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW) organization, drawing on her own experiences as a volunteer with the organization.

“I have been very involved with this organization (SCAW), and still am as a travelling volunteer,” said Ms. Fields during her discussion with the UCW. “The innocence of a child is something we all hold dear, because all children deserve to feel loved, safe and protected, but not all are.”

Ms. Fields explained that the organization was founded by Murray Dryden who grew up during the depression and that as a travelling salesman he learned what it was like to be deprived of a safe, dry sleep.

Through a hobby later in his life of taking photos of sleeping children around the world, Mr. Dryden became passionate about ensuring that all children should be entitled to a comfortable bed and pajamas, leading him to start SCAW in 1970 with the distribution of 50 ‘bed kits’ in Pune, India.

Ms. Fields described the bed kits cost $35 each, and that they contain sleeping items needed for the children in the intended country such as a mattress or hammock, sheet or blanket, pajamas and anything else that fits the budget that the SCAW ground organizers in the area think would be beneficial.

Since the organization was founded, over 688,600 bed kits have been distributed to children in over 10 countries.

The UCW members commented following the presentation on what a great program it was.

The topic of SCAW was carried over during LCUC Pastor Jane Blannin-Bruleigh’s closing worship

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Seaforth couple travels to the Philippines to help Sleeping Children

As posted by the Seaforth Huron Expositor, May 14, 2014
By Whitney South, Seaforth Huron Expositor

Chris and Gail Hills have always had a passion for helping children and nothing could be closer to their hearts than the needs of Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW).

Recently, the couple traveled to the Philippines as part of a group of volunteers to help hand out bed kits, a much needed service provided by SCAW in developing nations.

“The reality of living in third world countries is grim,” says Chris, explaining how just one bed kit can make the difference for an entire family. “They’ve got nothing and when you’re there helping, the experience is just overwhelming, they’re just so grateful.”

Donors for over 20 years, Chris says the couple never thought about actually traveling.

“I didn’t think I could handle it emotionally,” explained Chris. “A friend of mine I didn’t know was involved, encouraged me and I was hooked, once you’ve experienced something like this you just can’t get enough of it.”

An organization which provides bed kits to kids across the globe, SCAW is a group dedicated to making a difference in a child’s life, regardless of race or religion, who are in need and are typically located in underdeveloped and developing countries. On this trip, the group was able to distribute 6,000 kits, an annual goal they have been able to reach the past couple years.

Murray and Margaret Dryden of Etobicoke founded the charity in 1970, with the hope every child in the world could benefit from the comfort of a good night's sleep.

"It all started when Murray tripped over a child sleeping on pavement in India. He thought if that child could get a better night's sleep, he would be able to do better at school," said Chris. "I actually met a young man who still had his blanket and bed mat from a bed kit he got in 1998, he'd even taken it to university. He said it changed everything for him."

Since the organization began, SCAW has raised over $23 million in order to provide bed kits for children in 33 countries worldwide, reaching their millionth child in 2009.

According to the organization's website, not one penny of the $35 bed kit donation is spent on administration, 100 per cent goes to a needy child.

The couple had previously gotten the chance to travel to Sri Lanka together two years ago, while Chris has traveled several times over the past four years.

For Gail, the ability to interact with the children and their families was something she’ll never forget.

“There was one child who was so small, very very tiny. Because he was so small, I got down on my knees to him and I was giving him a bed kit when he spontaneously ran into my arms and I swung him around, it was a wonderful moment,” she said, smiling. “These moments really hit you, you’re in tears often.”

The bed kits provided contain much more than just items needed for a good night's sleep.

Besides a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket and mosquito net, children selected for the program also receive other necessities including a towel, flip flops and even school supplies. Contents vary from country to country depending on local needs, and products selected to be part of the kit are made and purchased from the countries where they’re distributed, in order to support the local economy.

After each kit is handed out, every child is photographed with the donor’s name and country, or special occasion message, on a label. Each photograph is then mailed to the donor as a way to help them remember the child who so greatly benefited from their gift.

In the Philippines, children and their families usually live in 10-foot by 8-foot tin shack with dirt floors and no running water and many only earn enough to spend $1 a day on food.

“The whole thing won’t work without donors, so it’s up to generous people out there to help give children a chance to improve their way of life,” Chris explained. “Spreading the word and getting people interested is so important, absolutely everything is volunteer based.”

For more information on how to donate to Sleeping Children Worldwide, visit

Chris Hills can be contacted at either, or by calling 519-522-1913.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tolnai-Manning Hungarian Goulash

The Fourth Annual

Manning & Tolnai
Goulash Cookout

Homemade Pies, Cakes, Cookies,
Salads, Bread, and
Hungarian Goulash

Hastings, ON

Saturday August 23, 2014

$15 per person

(Children under 12 free)
100% of money will be donated to
Sleeping Children Around the World

Click graphic to see a larger version
and directions.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Volunteers work to help the impoverished

As published in the Stratford Beacon Herald, April 7, 2014.

by Donal O'Connor

City residents Doug MacDougald and Sue Orr will be heading off to Togo in West Africa on April 12 to distribute bedkits to impoverished families through the Canadian charity, Sleeping Children Around the World.

They will be part of a team of six volunteers delivering 5,000 bedkits to 5,000 very poor children, said MacDougald, who took part in a similar trip to Togo a year ago.

The country of about 6.6 million is bordered by Ghana, Benin and Burkina Faso.

The team will deliver bedkits in 10 towns and villages, said McDougald, and he is very much looking forward to it. The Stratford veterinarian and business leader has been on several other trips as a volunteer with Sleeping Children.

A bedkit donation costs $ 35. Each kit delivers a mosquito net, bedding and ground sheet/ mattress, clothing and school supplies, all purchased in the country where the kits are handed out.

Volunteers with Sleeping Children pay their own way. Administrative costs not covered through donations are paid from a legacy fund established by the founders.

Since the charity began its bedkit distributions in India in 1970, more than 1.3- million kits have been handed out in 33 countries.

The charity works only with trusted volunteers, for example Rotary Clubs, in each country of distribution, and volunteers personally deliver the bedkits to children in need.

Each donor who contributes $ 35 receives a photo of the child who receives the bedkit, a newsletter from the travelling volunteers and a tax receipt.

For more information the Sleeping Children website is

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Musicfest for Sleeping Children

As submitted by Stephanie Brander, St. John's York Mills Anglican Church

St. John's York Mills Anglican Church

once more presents MusicFest.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Performance at 2 p.m.

An amazing mix of Handbells, Chimes, Vocals, Band and Organ
combining to make a fun-filled concert for all.

Part of the proceeds go to Sleeping Children.

For tickets call 416-225-6611,
e-mail or visit on the Web.

Location: St. John's York Mills Anglican Church,
19 Don Ridge Drive, Close to Yonge/York Mills Subway in Toronto

Doors open at 1:30 p.m.
Free Parking – Wheelchair Accessible

Click poster to see a larger version

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Leaside HS supports SCAW

Submitted by SCAW volunteer Marg Garrett, January 26, 2014.

Leaside High School

Thursday, February 27

7 pm to 9 pm

This year, Leaside High School is proud to support Sleeping Children Around the World in their annual fashion show.

The fashion show is a charitable fundraiser that raises school spirit and brings the Leaside community together for a spectacular night of fashion. The theme of this year’s show is Cinema where five different movie genres come to life!

They are Black & White, Comedy, Action/Adventure, Sci-Fi and Romance.

The show takes place on Thursday February 27th at Leaside High School (200 Hanna Rd) and goes from 7-9 pm.

A limited number of tickets will be sold at the door for $10 and all proceeds go towards Sleeping Children Around the World. Please come and join us for this fun filled night!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Palgrave students raise money for Sleeping Children Around the World

As published by the Caledon Enterprise, January 25, 2014.

By Matthew Strader

Palgrave Public School students are carrying on a school tradition in seeing that children around the world have a comfortable spot to rest their heads at night.

Dave Dryden and the Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW) charity was back at the local school recently to show the results of the work the kids did last year. They raised enough money for 76 bed kits that will go to needy children in various locations about the globe.

Dryden showed a video from a recent trip to Africa, in which SCAW members were participating in local celebrations and gifting bed kits to the local children.

“When we start handing stuff out, you can see how excited they are,” he said. “That’s because of you.”

Every year, Palgrave Public School engages in a campaign to raise money for the bed kits – which contain clothing, school supplies, a mosquito net (if applicable) and bedding for needy children – in partnership with the Palgrave Rotary.

A thirty-five dollar donation provides for one bed kit.

In their 2013 campaign, the students raised enough money, along with their matching donation from Palgrave Rotary, for 62 bed kits.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Dreams of Harmony - SCAW Fundraiser

Submitted January 10, 2013 by SCAW Volunteer Clarence Deyoung.

Click graphic at right to see larger version.

Dreams of Harmony

Sunday, January 26, 2014
3 pm

St. Luke's United Church,
St. Margaret's Bay Rd.
Upper Tantallon

Freewill Donation
100% Net Proceeds donated to
Sleeping Children Around the World

With the You Gotta Sing! Chorus
Directed by Vanessa Lindsay Botten