Wise Owl kids support Wheels Of Hope
From November until the new year, a group of 30 kids from Wise Owl Day Care pooled together their funds to raise $800 for the Cancer Society's Wheels Of Hope program. Pictured are Renfrew County Cancer Society community engagement specialist Lana Gorr (back, far left) Wise Owl teacher Melissa Robinson (back, second from left), Wise Owl teacher Celeste Desbiens (back, right) and the Wise Owl school-aged children.
A group of children from Wise Owl lived up to their day care’s namesake as they raised $800 for Wheels Of Hope.
It was back in October that the acts of kindness and fundraising officially kicked off, after three of the Wise Owl children came up to their teacher and suggested that the day care raise funds to support the cancer society.
With some of the children as young as five years old, Wise Owl teacher Melissa Robinson was happily surprised by their thoughtful proposal and eagerness to help those in need within their community.
“Three children come to me in October asking why the day care doesn’t raise money for cancer and so that asked the idea of doing a fundraiser,” said Robinson. “At school they tend to do the Terry Fox Run and different things like that to support cancer research. There are also some personal reasons why children wanted to support the cancer foundation and also just because they do it at school and they wanted to bring it to day care.”
Robinson gathered all of the 30 school-aged children together – aged five to 12 years old – and had them brainstorm ways that they could raise funds in support of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Wheels Of Hope program.
“I spoke with Lana at the Cancer Society and she told me about a program called Wheels Of Hope with helps patients get to and from doctor's appointments,” said Robinson. “The children realized how expensive it is to go to and from these appointments and we all agreed to raise funds to support the Wheels Of Hope.”
According to the Canadian Cancer Society, one in five Ontario cancer patients can’t get to medical appointments because of physical or financial challenges. To assist those patients, the society founded the Wheels of Hope Transportation Service to provide transportation for an eligible client along with one escort to lifesaving cancer treatments. Over the past few years, usage of the program has substantially risen – with transportation provided to treatment centres in Pembroke, Renfrew, Ottawa and Kingston. In 2016, the Wheels Of Hope program assisted 389 clients across Renfrew County with the cost of travel to cancer-specific or supportive care services. Those clients were assisted by a team of 34 volunteers who drove approximately 446,000 kilometres to provide 2641 rides to and from appointments.
Dubbing their fundraiser “Kilometres For Change”, Wise Owl’s charitable endeavour coincided with their December goal of encouraging the children to focus on the act “giving” rather than “getting”.
Over the course of two months, the Wise Owl kids pooled together their tooth fairy money, birthday cash and collections from their parents – ultimately raising a whopping $800.
“During the month of December our daycare focuses on giving back to the community, so this fundraiser fit in with our annual December goal,” said Robinson. “In the end we were able to give back $800 to help 10 people with the Wheels of Hope because it costs at least $80 to drive to and from an appointment.”
On behalf of the Cancer Society’s Wheels for Hope program, Lana Gorr expressed that the foundation is thrilled by the children’s act of kindness and Wise Owl’s support in coordinating the fundraising activities and encouraging the children to engage in the charitable and selfless activity.
“I was very overwhelmed to see that children of this age understand the need for this service in our area,” said Gorr, Canadian Cancer Society of Renfrew County community engagement specialist. “We’re very thankful for their support ad they gave their hard-earned dollars from the tooth teeth and their birthday money to support the Canadian Cancer Society’s Wheels Of Hope program.”