Monday, November 2, 2015

Tuckersmith Township local aids Sri Lankans battling poverty

As posted by the Seaforth Expositor, November 2, 2015.

By Shaun Gregory, Huron Expositor

At first sight the mud hut woven with sticks and twigs appears to be a place where goats or oxen might call home, but that is not the case, this is someone’s house.

These types of homes in Sri Lanka are similar to most in the nation, which are constructed in a way not well-known to North Americans. The main building components are what’s identified as wattle and daub, a material usually assembled with a mixture of clays, plant fibers, and sometimes even cow dung. Long-time Tuckersmith Township resident Chris Hills said the woman who owned the dwelling was “absolutely overjoyed” and proud to show the guests her lodging.

“She was excited at her new house, as you and I would, if we got a new duplex in a sub-division down the road”, said Hills, who is from the organization called Sleeping Children Around the World.

The Canadian non-profit organization specializes in the donation of beds and since 1970 when the charity first touched ground, they’ve raised over $23 million to arrange bed kits for children in 33 countries. In 2009 they achieved the goal of providing a bed to a million children.

Hills has been connected to the charity since the early 80’s and this visit marked his second time travelling to Sri Lanka. He touched down on September 23 and left October 11, an arrival and departure that is an “extremely emotional” time for the veteran volunteer. From the first time travelling, which he refers to as “parachuting” to the developing country, it didn’t seem as bad as he had heard.

“There was these gorgeous dressed Sri Lankan women, I wasn’t sure what I was seeing, I said to the one of the volunteers, I’ve got pictures of women in (beautiful) sarees. It (will) be difficult to go back Canada and say that these people are penniless,” Hills stated in an interview at the Expositor office.

What the unpaid helper was not aware of is that this vibrant ethnic clothing was not theirs, the volunteer told Hills that these items are borrowed because they knew the offerings group was coming.

The volunteer explained, “what (we are) doing here is bigger than any birthday, wedding or any Christmas and what they are wearing is from friends, relatives. You’ll see them tomorrow, they won’t be wearing that.”

Before each family is given the $35 bed kit an interview process is required for each donee. This is essential for the perspective in case a modification is needed. After the meeting is done the children and parents are smiling ear to ear, said Hills.

“You talk to them in the parent interview, you ask them about the bed kit, you ask silly questions, is it useful? They look at you, yeah even the bag it comes in,” enlightened Hills.

The gear usually included a plastic mat to keep the children off the dirt in their houses, a mosquito net, school supplies, pair of socks and this year they added a pair of shoes to the kit.

These simple gifts keep the poverty-stricken families in Sri Lanka happy, a reaction that puzzles the three-decade volunteer who is originally from England.

“You’ll often have the translator, parents and the Canadian in tears over what’s being talked about, this is daily life.( I don’t know) how they wake up smiling in the morning, but they do," Hills said.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Terra Nova Barrel Blast 2015

Submitted by SCAW Volunteer, Jodi Pendry on September 11, 2015.

Pete and Jodi Overdevest and family, Bright Ontario

A picture from our silo of a horse
just in arena to do her barrel race.

One of the many recipients of an award!
Here are a few pictures of our event “Terra Nova Barrel Blast” My family has been involved in Barrel Racing for many years. My husband and I decided we would like to host a barrel race but did not feel the need to make any profit ourselves from doing so. I had the opportunity to learn of SCAW through Ken Graham and that had always left a big impression on me. We decided to use our event to raise money for SCAW. The barrel race was held over the weekend of August 21, 22, 23. It was a big success! We had over 130 competitors and their families, ran over 600 barrel races, sold 240 chicken dinners Saturday night and had over 90 trucks and trailers in our field. We had competitors from the ages of 2 years old to 80 years old. Our children and extended family and friends helped to run the food booth, my husband looked after all the equipment and arena management and I ran around looking after administration. The weather co operated which made our weekend enjoyable for all involved!

A large sign at the end of our driveway:
Sat. & Sun.
Spectators Welcome
Free Admission

We hoped we could encourage good family entertainment for free and with any luck spectators could buy from our food booth or donate to this charity. Funds raised came from personal donations, show host return money, food booth, and both Ontario Barrel Racing Association and National Barrel Racing Association gave $1000 each. With all accumulated we are able to present a cheque to Sleeping Children Around the World for $7500! The response has been very positive and we have decided to do this next year with even bigger idea’s to come!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Grants — A Circle of Giving

Submitted by SCAW Volunteer Karen Scott.
SCAW is operated by volunteers, from the processing of donations to the distribution of bedkits. Our financial structure ensures that 100% of every bedkit donation reaches a needy child. We neither receive nor request funds from any level of government. Grants provide a very important way to spread the word about SCAW and means by which more needy children can benefit from the comfort of a good night’s sleep so that they will go to school and have hope for the future.

This is the story of one grant. As a Senior Program/Project Manager by profession, I volunteered for the Project Management Institute (PMI), a global organization of more than 500,000 members headquartered in Newton Square Pennsylvania. As recognition of my service, in late 2014, funds in the amount of $1,000 US became available to me to designate to the charity of my choice. Of course, I chose SCAW! In order to secure approvals for disbursement, senior level PMI staff were involved and several weeks were required to complete the process. SCAW received the funds just in time to include the donation in the Togo 2015 distribution on which I served as a team member. The joy of seeing 37 beautiful children as recipients of bedkits from this grant was indescribable and emotions overwhelming.

My associates at PMI had not previously heard about SCAW. They were impressed by everything about us – our dream, our mission, our core values, and the work we have done to date to distribute more than 1.4 million bedkits to needy children living in abject poverty in the developing world. For more information, please go to the SCAW website and check out our blogs.

The circle of giving was completed and the word about SCAW was spread far and wide. 37 beautiful Togolese children immediately benefited. Countless more children will be beneficiaries in the near and distant future. Please consider how you may be able to acquire a grant to continue to support SCAW and give needy children the gift of hope. For the Children – thanks!

Pour les enfants – merci!

Friday, July 17, 2015

SCAW Travelling Volunteer Doug MacDougald Recognized

Dr. Doug MacDougald Recognized for Outstanding Contributions to the Swine Industry

OTTAWA, ON – Dr. Doug MacDougald was awarded the 2015 Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) Merck Veterinary Award for his monumental work in the swine industry. He is widely recognized as a key opinion leader and veterinary leader within the North American pork industry for his work to minimize, control and ultimately promote the elimination of Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) virus in Canada.

“We are pleased to present this prestigious award to a man whose contributions to the profession have so positively impacted the swine industry in Canada, with the benefits reaching both producers and consumers,” says Dr. Jean Gauvin, 2014-15 CVMA President.

Dr. MacDougald graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, in 1977 and is a veterinarian, and founding partner, in South West Ontario Veterinary Services, a Swine Herd Health Management practice. He has focused on production and health management with a broad knowledge of the economics of the pig industry throughout his career.

Among many other professional activities and organizations, he is the Chair of the Ontario Swine Health Advisory Board and a member of the Ontario Association of Swine Veterinarians and the Western Canadian Association of Swine Practitioners.

The Merck Veterinary Award, sponsored by Merck Animal Health, is presented to a veterinarian whose work in large animal practice, clinical research, or basic sciences is judged to have contributed significantly to the advancement of large animal medicine and surgery, including herd health management.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Huge Garage Sale for Sleeping Children Around the World

As posted by the Oakville Beaver, May 7, 2015.



Huge Garage Sale for Sleeping Children Around the World, 8 a.m., Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church, 304 Spruce St., all proceeds go to bedkits for children in developing world, contact Cindy at or Peggy at


Results of the sale submitted by Cindy Hobman.

The garage sale proved to be a bigger success than we could have ever imagined. Thanks to all the wonderful volunteers for their hard work, enthusiasm, relentless energy, and constant smiles. Without them, this could never have happened. Special thanks to Grace Lutheran Church in Oakville for their hospitality and for lending us their facilities.

Almost $5,000 was raised. 136 children in developing countries will receive bedkits as a result of this effort.

Thanks to all for your support.


Click photos to see larger version.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Seaforth resident visits the Philippines for charity work

As posted by the Seaforth Huron Expositor, May 5, 2015

By Marco Vigliotti, Huron Expositor

Chris Hills spent the better part of the first three weeks of April crisscrossing the vast island nation of the Philippines, helping to distribute about 5,000 bed kits to needy children residing in some of the country's most impoverished communities.

As part of his ongoing volunteering efforts with Canadian charity Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW), the Seaforth resident was once again afforded the opportunity to hand-deliver the valued aid packages, which contain 38 crucial necessities such as mosquito nets, toothbrushes and school supplies.

He also distributed 28 bed kits purchased with donations generated from a SCAW fundraising dinner held in Clinton back in late March.

Hills, who has now visited the Philippines three times for SCAW, remains upbeat about the impact the packages can have for impoverished children there, most of whom live in simple tin roof shacks in the country's derelict, typically flood-marred slums.

Even the sourcing of the products benefits the country, he explains, with the items contained in the kits produced in the Philippines.

“All of the items are manufactured and/or sourced in the Philippines, so that provides a boost to the local economy,” Hills said in an interview after returning from the trip, which ran from April 3 to 19.

Members of the charity’s Philippines-based partner group assisted Hills and six other Canadian volunteers as they ventured out to 16 different locations across Luzon, the country’s most populated island.

In addition to delivering the kits, the volunteers conduct interviews with recipient families to see what other items they would want included in the packages and to gain a firmer picture of their living situations.

Despite most residing in “grim” dirt floor dwellings often located in active flood plains, Hills noted that the families remained remarkably positive in the interviews even as they described the challenges of living in extreme poverty.

“They can sit there and tell you these horror stories and it’s so matter of fact that you’ll have the interpreter in tears, the Canadian in tears and eventually the mother and father in tears telling you the story,” he said. “But, you will never come along happier people.”

The interviews also provide powerful imagery for subsequent presentations by the volunteers back in Canada detailing the importance of the work they do, Hills said.

“As you learn more about (their) everyday life, you’re better prepared to paint that picture for people,” he added.

Hills points to school supplies as being among the most popular items in the care packages, stating that children there are greatly enthusiastic about the prospect of attaining a formal education.

Although there is no cost to attend elementary school in the Philippines, supplies for classes are not provided and must be independently purchased.

It’s a cost that can be especially burdensome for the families served by SCAW, most of who barely eke out a living pillaging scrapyards for pop cans and other recyclable goods, Hills said.

"There are huge sacrifices made to get children to school - you’ve never seen children as excited to go to school and as disappointed if they can’t go," he said of the Filipino children. “If they miss school, it’s a bad day.”

As a travel leader for the charity, Hills is entering the last of his four-year term visiting the Philippines. After next year, he will be shipped off to another yet to be determined nation served by SCAW.

Hills acknowledges that it will be difficult to say goodbye to the “dedicated” local volunteers and parents and children he met while stationed in the southeast Asian country.

“You develop really close attachments,” he added. “You see 5,000 children, you meet them. You meet family members, you also meet some of the parents and teachers involved.”

SCAW claims to be one of a few Canadian charities, if not the only one, to allocate all fundraising revenue to its services and programs. Declaring itself the 100 per cent charity, it guarantees that all bed kit donations reach a needy child.

Administrative expenses at SCAW are reportedly covered by a legacy fund set up by founder Murray Dryden.

It does not conduct telemarketing or mass mailing campaigns.

The cost of a bed kit is $35. For a donation of that cost, a donor will receive a photograph of a child with the bedkit, showing the donor's name and country on a label.
In addition to the Philippines, SCAW also provides bed kits to an array of developing countries, including India, Bangladesh, Togo and Kenya. Since its incorporation in 1970, it has donated about 1,415,000 bed kits.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Helping Indian children teaches Barrie veteran about Canada

As posted on Inside Halton, April 13, 2015.

By Janis Ramsay

Retired Lt.-Col. Bill Sergeant has his parents to thank for his current travel itinerary.

The Barrie resident has been to India four times in the past five years to volunteer with charity organization Sleeping Children Around the World.

During his latest month-long venture with wife Monika, which wrapped up March 5, he helped deliver 6,100 bed kits to impoverished children.

“It goes back to my parents in the mid-80s,” Sergeant said.

Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW) co-founder Murray Dryden had been on TV talking about the organization and, after watching it, Sergeant’s mom called Dryden at his Etobicoke home.

She volunteered to be the organization’s secretary, but just before Christmas that year, was offered the chance to go to South America to see the work herself.

“Over the years, my parents ended up doing about 17 trips through SCAW,” Sergeant said. “She had seen these children and I heard all of the conditions about the families — how they had nothing.”

In the army at the time, he would talk about his parents’ journeys.

“I never had the opportunity to travel with them, but in 1997, my wife Monika had the chance to go to Uganda with them on one of the distributions,” he said.

In 2007, the couple went on their first SCAW trip together to the Philippines.

Three years later, Sergeant retired from the Canadian Forces, but worked as a reservist for 15 months.

The couple has travelled to India every year since 2011, with Sergeant serving as team leader during the past three missions.

He’s made several friends over there.

“One individual got a bed kit 24 years ago in Mumbai and we now hire him to take us around on tours,” Sergeant said.

That boy ran away from home because his father beat him and his siblings, and he and his sister were found living in a railway station by a Jesuit priest, who ended up taking them to an orphanage.

“We were invited back to that gentleman’s house for a meal. It was absolutely amazing,” Sergeant said. “He had an apartment with his mom, sister and niece living there.”

Sergeant stayed in touch with the man through email, always using upper-case letters.

“He can’t read the small letters. He knows all the capital letters — he’s basically self-taught and now helps at this orphanage where he grew up.”

Sergeant said it’s nice to see the children smile when he hands out bed kits.

“They don’t smile much, until they’ve got that bed kit in their hand and they walk out the gate and go back to their parents,” he said. “Their parents say ‘bless you’. It’s the only thing they can give you because they don’t have anything else.”

Since its creation, SCAW has donated more than 900,000 bed kits to children in 33 different countries.

Sergeant appreciates the fact that 100 per cent of donations go toward buying the kits, which includes a wool blanket, plastic mat and kitchenware, such as a plate and mug or cup.

“There’s zero administrative overhead. We pay for our own trips out of our own pockets, without the benefit of a tax receipt,” Sergeant said.

Among the things he has learned through the trips is just how much Canadians have and how much we take for granted.

“We have so many safety nets here, between food banks, welfare payments and so many charities that do help people in Canada. Over there, there are so few safety nets and charities,” he said.

“You can do so many things, but it always seems so limited. People say it’s just a drop in the bucket compared to the number of people in India,” Sergeant said. “If you have enough drops in the bucket, eventually it fills up and if you have enough buckets, it becomes a pond.”

Monday, April 6, 2015

SCAW Fundraising Gift received in the Philippines

Submitted by SCAW Volunteer Chris Hills, Seaforth, ON.

At the recent fundraising supper held in the Heartland Community Church, on March 22nd, generous donors supported the "Harvest of Love", a feeding programme organised by Charie Hendricks, and "Sleeping Children Around the World." The proceeds of the supper provided twenty-eight bed-kits for the most recent distribution in the Philippines.

On April 6th, 28 Filipino children were the happy recipients of bedkits. As each child received their bedkit, they blessed the Canadian volunteer with a whispered "Salamat po." A thank you to those donors far away who shared their good fortune with an unknown child.

In total 5,000 bedkits were given to children at sixteen locations across Luzon, Philippines.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Heartland Community Church in Clinton helps SCAW

Submitted by Chris Hills, Seaforth, Ontario
Lil's Kitchen Link
Click to enlarge photo.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Ambattur club spreads its wings

As posted on The Hindu, March 14, 2015.

From meeting at the modest canteen of a factory in Ambattur Industrial Estate to meeting at the cosy interiors of the Presidency Club, Egmore, the Rotary Club of Ambattur has come a long way.

In the last three decades, its members as well as its projects have spread across the city. To give just one example, the Club runs a vocational centre at Ayappakkam. .

In the 1980s, Rotary International expected each of its clubs to function within defined territories. “Only those residing or working in the territory designated for a club can hope to become a member of it. Therefore, the members of the Rotary Club of Ambattur either lived in the area or work in the region, which stretched up to Avadi,” recalls N. Krishnan, charter president.

During that period, especially the 1980s, executives of TVS companies in Padi, entrepreneurs with units at the Ambattur Industrial Estate, people working at T.V. Nagar and Avadi and a doctor who had a clinic in Padi were some of its members. The canteen of Deepak Banker’s office (Kunal Engineering) was the venue for the meetings in those days.

“Infrastructure facilities at the Industrial Estate were minimal and Banker’s offer was readily accepted. Also, Raju Iyengar, finance manager at Kunal Engineering, was one of our members,” he says.

The Club’s profile has changed over the years and, today, it has members from across the city.

“Of the 47 members, only three live in Ambattur. The majority of us live in areas around Mylapore and Anna Nagar. But, our projects are mainly concentrated around Ambattur and Avadi,” says Yadav Murti Sankaran, president of the Club and resident of Mylapore.

The Ambattur Rotary Hospital and the T.V. Nagar School are two of the Club’s pioneer projects. While the dispensary-turned multi-speciality hospital is being run since 1988, the Club has been associated with the school since 1980. “We get many patients on dialysis We also get those with cerebral palsy or requiring eye surgery,” says Yadav.

Its other major project is a join collaboration with Canadian NGO Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW), where sleeping kits are distributed to underprivileged children. This year, the Club handed over one lakh kits. It started distributing them in 1987. With the vocational centre, Rotarians invite any under-privileged students for mentorship and to help them find employment opportunities. For details, visit

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Local veterinarian honoured for PED intervention

As posted on the Stratford Gazette, February 25, 2015.

By Jeff Heuchert

Click graphic to enlarge.

A Stratford veterinarian was honoured last month with an industry award for his ongoing contributions to helping contain and prevent the spread of the PED (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea) virus in Canada.

Doug MacDougald received the Outstanding Veterinarian Award on Jan. 30 during the 2015 Ontario Veterinary Medical Association Conference and Trade Show in Toronto.

The PED virus does not affect food safety and poses no risk to human health, but kills close to 100 per cent of piglets that are infected.

MacDougald, who practices at South West Ontario Veterinary Services, was part of an investigative team that identified biosecurity gaps in the PED crisis, conducted surveillance, and developed strategies to prevent the rapid spread that ravaged the swine population in the United States, where more than eight million piglets have been killed from the virus since 2013.

Since January 2014 there have been a little more than 70 confirmed PED cases in Canada. But new confirmations are becoming less frequent.

MacDougald says the declining instances of PED north of the border is a direct reflection of industry stakeholders – from swine organizations to service companies to producers to private veterinarians – coming together and working cooperatively since day one.

“It’s a great success story for Ontario and Canada,” he says. “There’s been an unprecedented level of collaboration … to address this risk.”

The PED virus has been contained and many of the initial cases from last winter have now been eliminated, MacDougald adds, noting this season has seen a small number of new cases, between 10-12, crop up.

As chair of the Ontario Swine Health Advisory Board, MacDougald was at the forefront of Canada’s response to the PED outbreak in the US. He says a major breakthrough came when it was discovered that the virus came into Canada through contaminated feed that originated from the US. From there, the focus turned to promoting practices that minimize the spread, particularly around transportation.

“Our focus is to continue to contain and to eliminate (the virus) on each individual site,” MacDougald says. “And still targeting to get all the parameters in place so that we can potentially eliminate this from the country.”
MacDougald’s award not only reflects his work in the swine industry but also his humanitarian efforts.

Since 2007 MacDougald has been a volunteer with the charity Sleeping Children Around the World. He’s visited developing countries in Asia or Africa every year since but one, and this April he will set off again, this time for Togo in West Africa to distribute 4,000 bed kits to poor children.

MacDougald says the excursions help give him perspective, particularly last year when he went to distribute bed kits after months of intensive work around PED containment.

For his contributions with Sleeping Children MacDougald received the Stratford-Perth YMCA Peace Medal in 2011.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Liftlock Aktion Club helps those who need a hug

As posted by the Peterborough Examiner, February 23, 2015.

By Dale Clifford, Peterborough Examiner

Click graphic to enlarge.

The Kiwanis Liftlock Aktion Club continues to give Teddy Bears to children or anyone who needs a hug.

In their 10th year, they will donate 70 of the furry little creatures to the Peterborough Regional Health Centre this Thursday and to local police on March 26.

The Peterborough Kiwanis Club and the Kiwanis Club of Scott's Plains co- sponsor the Aktion Club which is in partnership with Community Living Peterborough. It allows adults living with disabilities an opportunity to develop initiative and leadership skills, serve the community, be integrated into society and demonstrate the dignity and value of citizens living with disabilities. Members of these former clubs act as advisors to the members of Liftlock club who elect their own club executives.

The club, which meets bi- monthly, holds an annual Bowl -a -Thon and the funds they raise are used to purchase new Teddy Bears (usually from an outlet in Toronto) which are donated to various agencies to distribute as they see the need. They have also distributed bears to such groups as the Peterborough Fire Department, Hospital Emergency, EMS and the Canadian Cancer Society.

“This has meant so much because it has been giving back to the community,’’ said Lenora Blackmore, with the Peterborough Kiwanis Club and an advisor with the Aktion group. “It provides a service. It has been wonderful to see. If someone is in a situation where they need a hug, it is good to give one. It is better to give than to receive. That is what it has meant to me.’’

The group has scheduled another Teddy Bear Bowl-a-Thon fundraiser for the spring but no date has been set yet.

While Kiwanis International was founded in 1915 in Detroit, it truly became international the following year when a club was formed in Hamilton. Its motto was Serving the Children of the World , One Community at a Time.

The Peterborough Kiwanis Club was created in November of 1921 and the Kiwanis Club of Scott's Plains was established in Peterborough in 1974.

The Aktion segment of the organization is much younger, having been born in Florida in 1987. It soon spread throughout the Florida area and then, by world-of-mouth, throughout the Kiwanis world.

Aktion Club became an official Service Leadership Program of Kiwanis International on Oct. 1, 2000 and today there are also clubs in the Barbados, Malaysia, Jamaica, Bahamas, Philippines and Australia.

More than 12,000 adults with disabilities around the world are involved in this Kiwanis-family program, developing leadership skills while working with others to help those in need. Their projects range from fundraising for Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW) to recycling drives to cleaning up parks.

Its mandate is to empower members to be themselves, work together with friends and implement plans through action. Aktion clubs can also be established at churches, libraries, YMCAs, lodges or similar facilities. A Kiwanis club, composed of like-minded, service-oriented people from the community, serves as the club’s sponsor. The current club has 24 members.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stratford veterinarian Doug MacDougald receives Outstanding Veterinarian Award from Ontario Veterinary Medical Association at Toronto conference

As published by the Stratford Beacon Herald, February 19, 2015.

By Mike Beitz, The Beacon Herald.

Doug MacDougald’s significant contributions to the swine industry have earned him a prestigious award from the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA).

The local vet, who practises with South West Ontario Veterinary Services in Stratford, recently received the Outstanding Veterinarian Award from the OVMA at its annual conference in Toronto.

“It’s always nice to be honoured by your peers,” said MacDougald Wednesday.

He was nominated for the award specifically for his dedication to the swine industry, and the key role he played in addressing porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED), a disease that has killed millions of piglets in the U.S. but is largely contained in Canada.

MacDougald and his fellow veterinarians have been working together, sharing information and taking a proactive approach in an effort to stamp out PED in the province.

The award acknowledges that teamwork, suggested MacDougald, who is also a founding member and current chair of the Ontario Swine Health Advisory Board.

“I think it recognizes the collaborative effort the entire swine industry has done with our approach to disease control and PED,” he said.

The approach appears to be working.

Almost all of the cases of PED that occurred last winter and spring have been eliminated, said MacDougald, and there have been “a relatively small number of cases” since the fall.

Cold weather increases the risk of PED being spread.

“It has not been – and is not running through – the industry like it did last year in the U.S.,” he said, “so it’s a great success story.”

MacDougald said he shares the Outstanding Veterinarian award with his colleagues.

“This recognition is a nod to our South West practice, and all the vets and staff that really have been phenomenally collaborative and supportive of all of the efforts we’ve taken with this industry.”

The award also recognizes MacDougald’s work in the community, as well as his involvement with the Canadian-based charity Sleeping Children Around the World.

In April, he will be heading to Togo in West Africa with that charity to lead a team of volunteers that will distribute mosquito nets, bed kits and other basic supplies to children from impoverished families.​

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Dryden brings message of generosity, compassion to Trinity United Church

As published in the Listowel Banner, February 11, 2015.

Click to enlarge graphic.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Dave Dryden in Listowel To Support Sleeping Children Around the World

As posted by Blackburn News, February 9, 2015

By Blackburn News

The Sleeping Children Around The World charity had its’ chair, former NHL goalie Dave Dryden, in Listowel at Trinity United Church on Sunday.

Dryden explained the goal of the charity is sending custom bed kits to poverty-stricken countries world-wide.

Dryden highlighted some of the 9 current countries they service, including Uganda and Honduras, and about the impact it has in those areas.

“Over the course of the years we’ve actually gone to 33 different countries,” he says, “but right now the nine that we are with, we visit once a year. You talk to especially the teachers and the parents and you realize they are really having an impact on the children.”

For more info on Sleeping Children Around The World, including all the countries they deliver to, or to make a donation of $35 for a bedkit, visit

By: Ryan Drury

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Children get free bed kits

As posted by The Hindu, Chennai, India, February 5, 2015.

By Staff Reporter

Children living on pavements have a good Samaritan in Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW). The NGO based in Canada, in association with Rotary Club of Ambattur, distributed bed kits to children from three schools in the city.

Sidney Frank, consul general of Canada, to mark the distribution of one lakh bed kits, felicitated Judy Dryden, daughter of Murray Dryden founder of SCAW, at a felicifunction organised by the club on Wednesday.

Yadav Murti Sankaran, president of the club, said it had been associated with SCAW for 29 years. This year, bed kits were distributed to beneficiaries in various parts of the State including Theni, Yercaud, Vellore and Tiruchi. The kits contain a bed spread, a quilt, bed sheets, towels, pillow, raincoat and school bag.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

'Awesome post" allows Stratford students to make $1,000 in donations to Local Community Food Centre, Same World Same Chance and Sleeping Children Around the World through We365

As posted by the Stratford Beacon Herald, January 28, 2015.

By Laura Cudworth, The Beacon Herald
Hilary Doupe, 11, got a very exciting e-mail recently offering her $1,000.

“My mom was looking at it for half an hour to make sure it's true,” Hilary said.

It is legitimate and recognizes the efforts of Hilary and her SOAR classmates to do something good. Hilary was selected to go to the We Day event in Toronto in the fall headed up by Free the Children founders Craig and Marc Kielburger.

The event is geared toward young people, and the best way to reach young people is through technology and social media. The Me to We movement developed an app called We365 to do just that. Hilary signed on.

Through the app, kids are given challenges to complete every day of the year.

Hilary's class, comprising gifted students, challenged themselves to raise enough money to buy a goat at Christmas. The idea came from classmate Grace Wideman, 10, who had received a World Vision catalogue in the mail and pitched the idea to her peers. They decided to have a bake sale at Northwestern Secondary School to raise the funds.

A goat costs $75. The class raised $339 – a lot of cupcakes and fudge at 50 cents each – and bought four goats.

Hilary used the We365 app to post the accomplishment. Later on, while she was at home, a message popped up in her inbox from a name she didn't recognize.

“I opened it, even though I'm not supposed to, and started screaming and ran down the stairs,” she said.

The e-mail said We365 had chosen her as the winner of the gift of empowerment challenge and wanted to “hook her up with $1,000” to go to the charity of her choice.

“You totally wowed us with your awesome post....” said Alexandra Brown, the content and community manager We365.

Last week, Hilary and her classmates chose three organizations. The Local Community Food Centre will get $325 for a kids' breakfast program, Sleeping Children Around the World will get $325 and Same World Same Chance will get $350.

Marissa Izma, co-founder of Same World Same Chance, a school program in Zambia, came to the class in October to talk about the power of one and inspired the class

In addition to the money from We365, the SOAR class has raised enough money to sponsor a SWSC girl for an entire year.

“It's snowballing,” Grace said. “We can make a difference even though we're kids.”

In all, they've raised $2,260 since the fall to benefit others.

Who knows what they'll do next.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Burlington women in India as travelling volunteers for SCAW

As posted at Inside Halton, January 14, 2015.

Burlington Post
By Kathy Yanchus

The volunteer-run charity Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW) began in 1970 with the distribution of bedkits in Pune, India.

At that time, 50 bedkits, which consisted of bedding and life-saving mosquito netting, were handed out to impoverished children.

Forty-five years later, the organization launched by Murray and Margaret Dryden has raised more than $23 million for bedkits — at $35 per kit — which have been distributed in more than 30 countries.

More than one million children have received personal bundles to date, and the number of destitute kids around the world who benefit from the comfort of a bed, and an effective tool against deadly malaria, keeps rising.

As a new year begins, another 4,000 kids — in the Indian city where it all began — will receive bedkits through a SCAW distribution trip to Pune and two Burlington women will be there.

Karen Bridgman-Acker and Faith Clark are two of the six volunteers travelling to the city, located southwest of Mumbai, where they will distribute 800 bedkits on each of five days.

During their two-week trip (Jan. 14-22), they will be traveling into some of Pune’s poorest areas accompanied by local Rotarians, one of the service clubs, church groups and charitable organizations that have partnered with SCAW. These local volunteers are responsible for purchasing items for the bedkit, selecting the recipients and organizing distribution sites.

After the essentials of bedding and netting are purchased for every bedkit, the remainder of the $35 is spent on items such as clothing and school supplies, with needs varying from country to country.

“When we get there, we meet up with the overseas volunteers and then we work together to distribute bedkits,” said Bridgman-Acker, who is on her second SCAW trip, the first one being to Kenya in 2011. “The money is donated here (in Canada) and then SCAW provides money to the Rotarians to buy the items for the bedkits.”

“The donor is guaranteed that 100 per cent of their donation goes to the children,” so all of the $35 is used, added Clark, who has participated in distribution journeys to Honduras, Bangladesh, Mumbai and the Philippines.

SCAW is totally volunteer-based, one of the main draws for Bridgman-Acker and Clark. No one is paid a salary and travelling volunteers pay their own way.

“It’s just so well run. You know exactly where your money’s going,” said Clark. “It’s all volunteers. SCAW does no advertising or promotion so 100 per cent goes entirely to the bedkits.”

The retired teacher was introduced to SCAW when others donated bedkits on her behalf. Having participated in teacher training programs through the Canadian Teachers Federation in Nigeria and Belize, Clark thought SCAW was a good match for her, especially with her fondness for travel.

“I call it travel at its best,” said Clark.

Bridgman-Acker happened to read a story about SCAW and was impressed not just with the charity’s lack of administrative fees in its cost structure, but the tremendous good resulting from small individual donations.

“Thirty-five dollars is so within reach,” added Clark.

Despite a career as a social worker, nothing could prepare her for the destitute living conditions she witnessed, said Bridgman-Acker.

“It’s eye-opening to see what some people live like. My background is in child welfare so I’ve seen a lot of the bad side of life, but I don’t know if you can prepare yourself for that.”

The Canadian group will be staying in a central location and

will be driven to different villages, usually schools — the farthest one 135 kilometres away — to distribute bedkits, one of about a dozen such supervised trips this year.

Both women have fond memories of the children’s faces upon receiving their bedkits.

“You see the kids lining up for bedkits in bare feet or shoes falling off their feet because they’re wearing their father’s shoes,” said Bridgman-Acker. “They are just so excited to get their bedkits.”

“But they come in singing and dancing, smiling,” said Clark.

When in Kenya, Bridgman-Acker marveled at the children who walked 10 miles from their homes to the distribution site and with the bundles balanced on their heads, turned around and walked back.

Experiencing firsthand the realities of life in these desperately poor countries and the opportunity to make a difference keeps them involved.

“I do feel it does make a difference. I know there’s thousands and thousands of kids who won’t get a bedkit this year but there are 4,000 that will, and then next year there will be another 4,000,” said Bridgman-Acker.

On each of the five distribution days, volunteers rotate jobs, sometimes taking photos of each child with their bedkits for the purposes of sending to each donor, other times handing out bedkits to the children.

Clark and Bridgman-Acker also will write live blogs of their trip and an article for an upcoming SCAW newsletter. They, as well as all travelling volunteers, are also available to give presentations.

Clark, who has done numerous presentations to promote the organization and raise funds, said the photos shown usually speak for themselves.

While in India they expect to tour the site where outfits for the bedkits were made.

While Clark comes homes after the two weeks, Bridgman-Acker’s husband is meeting her in India where the couple will continue their travels.

To follow the volunteer blogs or find out more information about SCAW, visit