For a couple of very special weeks in November, students at Vancouver's Renfrew Elementary are showing their hearts to two of their own. The kids are fundraising to help their schoolmates Oliver and Elliott Fallowfield, two brothers who have special needs. The boys have been helped by Variety - The Children's Charity and now they are giving back by participating in the Kids Coin Drive.
All the students at Renfrew Elementary are keeping a coin box in their classrooms and will be encouraging family and friends to help them raise funds.
The brothers are two of eighteen Coin Kid Champions from 14 communities across BC who are involved in the campaign which, since its inception 10 years ago, has raised $1.8 million for children in BC who have special needs.
"Renfrew school is a supportive and inclusive community," says Hugh Blackman, Principal at Renfrew Elementary. "When we heard about Oliver and Elliott's participation in the Kids Coin Drive for Variety, their classes and the school wanted to help out too. Variety does so much to support children and their families."
Born with muscular dystrophy, Oliver, age 7 and Elliott, 4, are living with a degenerative disease that affects their legs and feet, making it difficult to walk or run. Left untreated, they will end up in walkers or wheelchairs later in life. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, Variety - The Children's Charity was able to give the gift of mobility to the Fallowfields. Funding from Variety paid for physiotherapy, leg splints and orthotics.
Variety's Executive Director, Bernice Scholten, is thrilled with the support the boys are receiving from their school: "Oliver and Elliott and our other Coin Kid Champions around BC are inspiring young people to become involved, give back and make a difference. The Coin Drive really is an example of the power of families helping families."
Proceeds from the Kids Coin Drive will help children who have special needs and their families through grants for emergency transportation costs to out-of-community hospitals, expensive medications, mobility and communication devices, and therapeutic programs.