Kids for Kids - October 2011

Within the historical community of Mount Joy, in particular the area surrounding Peter Street, the neighbours have gotten together since 2009 to create a charity sale at the Markham Train Station on behalf of The Children's Wish Foundation. The Markham Village Conservancy supports the initiative by providing the Kids for Kids program access to the Train Station as well as space for storage in advance of the event.

The Kids for Kids Charity Sale is held on the Saturday after Father's Day, typically the last weekend in June.

Children's Wish is a grassroots charity dedicated to providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience to children diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses. Established in 1984, on the kitchen table of an inspired and committed volunteer, Children's Wish has grown into a national organization with chapters in every province.

Children's Wish has granted more than 15,000 wishes for children and their families and expects to grant 1000 new wishes this year. Each wish is an individual adventure, carefully structured to meet the needs of each particular child.

For a child whose wish is about to be granted, the pain and discomfort of the illness, and often harsh treatment regimes, somehow becomes more bearable. For many, the excitement of planning and anticipating their dream has a dramatic effect on their healing. These courageous youngsters often experience a renewed sense of energy and hope as they see a different kind of light at the end of the tunnel.

The Kids for Kids Charity Sale was the brainchild of Rutherford Spraggon, current VP of the Markham Village Conservancy, designed as a Self Expression and Leadership project for his studies within Landmark Education; the project has grown into a fun annual community event.

Members of the Kids for Kids committee begin in early May to canvas the community for gently-used items which are then stored and organized for sale at the June charity event.

While donations are being sought and collected, work with the local schools begins to raise awareness and to enrol volunteers.

The elementary school children and their parents who volunteer are engaged for "sale day", as it is the children who perform the actual selling. The goal is for the younger kids to learn about money and commitments and to give their time to those less fortunate.

Local high schools such as Brother Andre, Markham District and Trudeau are engaged to help with the sale day car wash, bake sale and BBQ and provide assistance to the younger kids on sale day; in addition they assist with the end of day clean up. The hours completed by the high school students is credited towards their required Community Involvement hours mandated by the York Regional School Board.

Metrolinx who manages the GO Station parking lot provides Kids for Kids access to the Markham GO Station on Main Street.

Each year, the sale has grown and the proceeds which go to The Children's Wish Foundation have grown too. Since its inception, the Kids for Kids in Markham Charity Rummage Sale has raised over $12,000 in support of Children's Wish.

To volunteer or donate, please contact Rutherford Spraggon at rutherfords@bell.net. For more information about Kids for Kids in Markham, visit our website: www.kidsforkidsinmarkham.ca.