About the Fund
ADOPT-A-SCHOOL: Our readers create a legacy
By Shelley Fralic
For more than three decades, The Vancouver Sun has been using the power of its printing presses to tell the compelling and often heartbreaking stories of the children among us who need help, the children who are buried in poverty or suffering from disability and disadvantage, children who cannot help themselves.
And you, our readers, have been with us every step of the way, not only reading those stories but responding to our call, opening your hearts and your wallets to make the lives of these children better.
That collective commitment, a magical melding of The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund and your generosity, has created an astonishing legacy: To date, you have donated close to $11.5 million to the The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund, of which more than $7 million has been distributed to nearly 1,000 non-profit children’s charities around B.C.
It was you, in the 1990s, who responded to the need for a Vancouver hospice for children with cancer and raised $3 million to lay the foundation for Canuck Place.
It was you who funded KidSafe, a program that today continues to provide a haven for at-risk inner city kids, who’ve done nothing more than have the misfortune to be born into circumstances of poverty, violence, addiction and abuse.
It was you who, year after year, made it possible for thousands of disabled kids to go to camp, for autistic children to have access to equipment, for impoverished youngsters to have food on the table, books to read, toys to play with and transportation to events, all the necessities and the extras that so many of us take for granted, that not only nourish the mind and body but feed the soul.
With our fund still going strong into its fourth decade, one thing remains crystal clear: While our city — indeed the world — has evolved dramatically around us since then Sun publisher Clark Davey started the charity in 1981, some things never change.
Today, we live in one of the wealthiest countries, and cities, on the planet and yet indifference to social, cultural and economic injustice continue to erode the spirit of too many children living right here in our own backyards.
It’s a reality that fills us not just with journalistic resolve, but with a determination to right the wrongs.
It’s what drove us to take up the call of Vancouver inner city elementary school teacher Carrie Gelson who, in the fall of 2011, wrote an emotional open letter to the public citing her dismay and anger that her students were arriving at school hungry and without warm clothing. She wondered how this could be happening in Metro Vancouver. We did, too.
So we did what we do best. We told her story, and introduced you to her children, and because you do what you do best, you began donating money and clothing, school equipment and field trips, so generously coming to the rescue that by the spring of 2012, you had donated $350,000 to our newly launched project — Adopt-a-School. That amount was then matched by The Children’s Fund for a total of nearly $800,000.
Because of you, hundreds of Vancouver-area schoolchildren now have new boots to wear in the rain. They are being fed warm breakfasts and are experiencing things they would never otherwise have the opportunity to do.
The Children’s Fund isn’t about pointing fingers at parents falling painfully short of their responsibilities, or governments and organizations making unpopular choices in the face of rising demand and declining resources.
It’s about the little boy or girl who gets up every morning to another day without breakfast. Or a little boy or girl who walks out the front door without a winter coat or waterproof shoes to keep them warm on the way to school. Or a little boy or girl who doesn’t have books to read at home, who has never been on the SkyTrain or to a museum or had hot chocolate at a restaurant, but who lives in a city, and a society, where all about them there is so much excess.
This is about a child who, without our collective attention and intervention, might never achieve his or her best, might never have his or her eyes opened to the opportunities and wonders of the world.
And so, as the season of giving is once again upon us, we are asking you continue to place your trust in us, and put your contribution in our Adopt-a-School collection tray, so that this great legacy that we both started so many years ago is carried well into the future.
We have big plans, and we know you’ll be right here with us.