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: