Thursday, September 8, 2016

Providing a good night’s sleep to those
in need

By Justine Alkema, Clinton News Record

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 1:00:47 EDT AM

Seaforth natives Chris and Gail Hills are dedicated volunteers. They
have been team leaders with Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW) for many

SCAW’s mission is simple – to give bedkits to needy children in
developing countries.

“As our children grew up, we realised that like most western kids, they
had way too much stuff” said Chris. After realising this, instead of giving
their kids a gift, they would give a bedkit to a child in need. Their child
would receive a photo of the other child with their new bedkit.

The bedkits include a mosquito net, plastic sleeping mat, blanket,
pillow, pillow case, bath towel, toothbrush, schoolbag, grade two pad, tote
bag, slippers  (flip-flops), raincoat,
four t-shirts, two shorts, four notebooks, three pencils, and three ballpoint

The kits are purchased and put together in the country they are
delivered in.This supports the local economy and makes travelling a lot lighter
for the volunteers. Also, each kit costs $35, and $35 goes a lot further in a
developing country than here.

Many groups fundraise across Canada through bake sales, garage sales,
barbeques and more.

“SCAW spends no money on advertising, cold calls, or mail-outs. It is
indeed one of the few 100% Charities,” said Chris.

The developing country which the Hills deliver to changes every four
years. They make the trek to the country to deliver the kits once a year with a
team of volunteers.

For the past four years, the country has been the Philippines. On May 13
to June 3 of this year, they went on their last trip to that country. This year
alone, they were able to deliver 5,000 kits there.

In April, the Filipino community around Clinton held a fundraising
dinner for that trip which was reported in the News Record. From that event, they were able to purchase 31
bedkits. This event will continue to happen annually. Although the Hills will
be working in another country, proceeds from that event will continue to go to
the Philippines.

The Hills welcome the opportunity to visit schools, libraries, church
groups, or service clubs to talk about SCAW.

(To find out more about Sleeping
Children, please contact Gail and Chris Hills at 519-522-1913, email, or take a look at
the SCAW website at

Typical photo a donor will receive for his/her $35 donation – the
                                 child wearing the shorts and t-shirt from his bedkit with the rest

                            of the bedkit items laid out in the photo. The left sign shows the country

                               “Philippines,” and the right shows the location, in this case “Porac.”
Boys with bedkits