Helping Our Most Vulnerable
My family and I volunteered yesterday at the Children’s Aid Foundation in Toronto as part of the Rogers Give Together Weekend Employee Volunteer campaign. We packed backpacks for kids and filled them with two exercise books and a pencil case full of two pens and pencils, a pack of pencil crayons, an eraser and a glue stick. As we were filling the backpacks, I couldn’t help but think that these items were things we would not think twice about getting at a Walmart or a dollar store, yet for the kids who would be on the receiving end in the new school year, they would mean more than just the actual physical objects. Having these backpacks would mean having things they could call their own, not being ostracized for not having a pen to write with and knowing that someone cared for them – that they had a community behind them. As we stood in the backyard of the Foundation’s main location at Spadina and Bloor, working together on a sunny and beautiful Saturday morning, the impact of what we were doing and who we were helping by such a simple act hit hard.
According to information that was shared with us and which can also be found on their website, www.cafdn.org, did you know there are over 63,000 children and youth in permanent care in Canada with foster families, extended families or in group homes? Did you know that almost all of them have experienced some sort of trauma from abuse to neglect to poverty? These facts are staggering. Children and youth in care are at a disadvantage from the start. Without support and a network, which many of us take for granted, they cannot succeed.
If you are wondering how you can help, you can! If you go to the Foundation’s website, you can volunteer, you can donate, you can make a difference in these kids’ lives. The CAFDN is not the only organization and of course, Toronto is not the only city. There are groups across Canada that are trying to help kids – please do some research and volunteer your assistance in some way today.
Thanks for reading and have a great week. Please share this message on your social media channels.