The 10% solution to the true meaning of Christmas

I was thinking Christmas must be something more. Why go out and buy someone a really expensive gift when you can make a home made gift with more love and thought? Thats one of the reasons that this year for christmas, I’m asking for one thing and one thing only…..for people to care. By care, I mean, not me me me me me. People are not thinking about the meaning of Christmas. It is family time. But some families don’t have very much, or anything.

Sure, it is fun to open gifts, but think about the people, and children, that do not have gifts to open. They do not have money for a turkey even. Christmas is a time to BE SOMEONE. I am not sure what I am really trying to say, but please be someone that cares.

Every year, my family donates all our gently used household items and toys to the Mustard Seed. They have received some pretty spectacular items over the years including many unopened items as we have also taken advantage of great sales and bought items as well. My dad has bought dozens of gifts each year just to donate with these other items so that families have many choices when they came ‘shopping’ at the Seed for Christmas. Right now we have 6 sets of brand new Christmas lights in the garage to donate in addition to all the toys we have. But we have learned that the Mustard Seed will no longer be accepting or distributing any toys, or almost anything else. We have three big boxes of items in the garage to donate and nowhere to donate them to because now it seems, no one wants them.

I also think about the impact on the environment if all these toys just go into the garbage, just because they have been opened. However, charities all focus on new items, rather than recycled and yet there is nothing wrong with what we have to donate, there just isn’t a box. As a kid, I think I would far rather have several presents to open, including gently used toys, than have one or two, in which I then throw away the box anyways.

So, that means this year no presents for me. I want all my presents to go to a charity. Well, actually I want the money that would be used to buy presents to go to charity. And I have told Santa that I want all my toys that he would give me to go to charity. I am 12, and this is important. So as you think about that big expense, think about the people that don’t have a home, or food, or toys, or books. The average Canadian will spend something like $600 on Christmas presents. All I am asking, is please take 10% of what you would spend, and put it to a charity that will help families this Christmas. Any charity. If you plan on spending the average $600, put $60 to a charity. You can even make it as a gift and donate in someones name. Imagine the impact if we all donated just 10%!! Imagine if we could get #10percentsolution trending on Twitter (an unused hashtag until TODAY). My preferred charities this Christmas will be in my next blog in December.

Oh, and if you find a charity that will take used toys and books, please let me know. Email me at kidshelpingkidsCalgary@shaw.ca or tweet me at @KidsHelpingYYC

btw, thank you to all for the donations that you have made to Brown Bagging It For Calgary Kids! Donation matching by the Prosser Foundation has been extended to Nov 30 so please consider donating to them. Go to http://www.brownbaggingit.org/donate-time-or-money/ and click the donate button. Make sure you click the down arrow beside ‘Fund’ and change it from Eligo Hockey to Lunch and then in the Message box type in ‘Kids’. Thank you for supporting them :)

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I am not done yet……

Wow, the last month has been amazing. Thank you so much to those of you that keep checking my website. It all started when I wanted to auction off Justin Bieber tickets and raise awareness for charities. I had high hopes of raising $1000, but it didn’t happen. I am thankful to Metro News and CTV News, who both covered my story, but sadly, together they only brought 100 visits to my website. To my surprise, a tweet to Mayor Nenshi and W. Brett Wilson, brought hundreds more. However, none of those visits resulted in a bid for the tickets.

My dad found a donation of $350 for the tickets through friends, which was donated to Brown Bagging It and the tax receipt will generate a $100 tax refund, which was re-donated to Brown Bagging It. Most donations came from friends that I think we begged into donating, but this is how they broke down so far.

- $450 total from the Justin Bieber tickets
– $500 from my mom and her clients
– $300 from a couple that read the story in Metro News but didn’t want the Bieber tickets
– donations from family friends including one from Texas! (and people are still donating I hope)
– and the best news ever……the Stampede City Kinsmen had followed my website and donated $1000!!!

Thank you to everyone!! People tell me they still plan to donate and I encourage you to please donate to http://www.brownbaggingit.org/donate-time-or-money/

Most importantly, all these donations are matched by the Prosser Foundation, so my effort thus far has raised at least $4500.

So what is next? I have brown lunch bags that I am hoping my friends will take out to collect loose change on Halloween for Brown Bagging It. Any money collected will go to them, but it will be hard since people won’t know about it and I might have to save that idea for something else. I will continue to ask for donations to Brown Bagging It until November 15th because that is when the matching grant goes until.

My next plans include donations to the Mustard Seed in November and beginning of December, although I am still waiting to hear from them as I am not sure they take donations anymore. Otherwise I will be looking for another charity that will take gently used toys and household items. I already have plans to volunteer at Inn From The Cold a date in December and another one in January that they do an event for the kids. Please check back soon for that information as I am still trying to connect with those organizations.

You can also subscribe to this website so you know when there is a new post by clicking the ‘follow’ button on the bottom right.

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Updated page October 12

Writing an update with awesome news…..please check back in the next day or 2….only 12, working on homework and writing my thoughts to share……

Today I gave away tickets to Justin Bieber. Sadly, my efforts and this website drew only 1 donation from a kind couple that read about this in Metro News. However, I still received an awesome $350 from Deanne Chittick thanks to a friend letting her know what I was doing! I was happy to hand this money over to Brown Bagging It this afternoon in person and it will be matched for a total of $700! Thanks to the support of family friends, and the two donations above, I think we raised $1300! I will update my story and my feelings this weekend. 

Did you know that thousands of Calgary kids go without lunch every day? Did you know that a Calgary charity is trying to change that and they can feed these kids lunch for only $1 a day? Did you know these kids live in YOUR neighbourhood, even if you live in an upscale neighbourhood? Did you know that from October 1 to November 15th, every dollar donated to this charity will be matched by the Prosser Foundation up to a total of $60000? Did you know that your donation could give you up to a 50% tax refund? Here is the story from CTV News http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=771049&playlistId=1.974121&binId=1.819187  and Metro News http://metronews.ca/news/calgary/383247/young-calgary-girl-forfeits-justin-bieber-tickets-for-charity/

My name is Denika and I am 12. My dad bought a pair of Justin Bieber tickets. I don’t like Justin Bieber. At all. But he bought them just in case my brother or I changed our mind (because 12 year old girls sometimes do that). But just in case, he started looking for what to do with them if we didn’t want to go. He wondered, what if he could give away a life changing experience to someone? I cannot imagine Bieber being life changing for anyone, but I know there are some big fans that didn’t get tickets.

Last month, there was a news story about a former cheerleader that had a tragic accident in Croatia and was ringing up massive medical bills as she failed to purchase travel insurance. Her family created a website to help pay the costs of transporting her back to Canada and successfully raised $142000, so far. This led to our family discussing how many Canadian charities could have used that kind of money. Understand, if we were that injured girl, we would want people to help bring us back to Canada as well. But, we have homeless people, and jobless people and kids that don’t get breakfast or lunch in this country.

My dad started looking for a charity that helped kids, so that we could do something to try and raise funds like they did for the cheerleader. He found a few, but it seemed like many were backed by big campaigns or large corporations and we wanted to find something that we could relate to. Then a couple of Twitter folk directed him to Brown Bagging It For Calgary Kids.

This charity touched us as we went to a school last year where kids wouldn’t have lunch, including some of our friends. We knew kids that had a can of pop and bag of chips as their lunch. We did not think much of it until our dad found Brown Bagging It for Calgary Kids charity and we realized how big an issue this is in a supposed rich city like Calgary and we wondered if those friends truly forgot lunch or if they were falling through the cracks and this school was being missed. But my dad was right, sort of. I had new friends at a new school and everyone wanted to go to Bieber with me. But I decided to give them away to help Brown Bagging It even though I keep getting pressure from my new friends. I even went down and helped make lunch one day. It was amazing.

I originally started this initiative with my brother but I have taken over as he is busy with his own volunteer activities. I have been trying to volunteer and be involved in the community for a while, but there is not much for a 12 year old to do. I wanted to do my part for Mayor Nenshi’s 3 Things for Calgary and so this idea seemed like my chance to do something. I want more kids to join me as I explore charities in Calgary that benefit kids.

Brown Bagging It for Calgary Kids provides 3000 Calgary kids with lunch everyday. We want kids from all over Calgary to make adults aware that there are kids starving in Calgary and get people to donate to this charity. We want kids to join us: talk to your parents about friends and classmates that don’t have lunch and encourage parents, friends, and companies to donate and support Brown Bagging It for Calgary Kids. There can be many reasons for this, but regardless of the situation, kids should not be suffering. We don’t expect to raise $142000 but lets see what we can do. 

How can you help?

- Learn more about Brown Bagging It at http://www.brownbaggingit.org/

- Vote for Brown Bagging It at http://www.whatgivesyyc.com/vote.shtml which is giving away $12500 to a charity.

- Most importantly, DONATE so that kids have lunch. It only costs $1 to feed a child lunch. – Donations can be made the following ways:

Donate securely  http://www.brownbaggingit.org/donate-time-or-money/

IMPORTANT: In the Designation box, click the drop arrow and select Lunch Program and then in the message box, type in “KIDS”.  We have learned the link does not work sometimes. Just try it again, and if it still won’t work, drop us a line at kidshelpingkidsCalgary@shaw.ca

You can also mail in a donation to:

Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids
Suite 315 – 223 12th Ave SW
Calgary, AB
T2R 0G9

Every dollar counts, but if you donate over $20, you will receive a tax receipt.

We are are trying to raise awareness and encourage all donations, and every donation over $20 will receive a tax receipt. What good is a tax receipt? In Alberta, a 15% federal tax credit and a 10% Alberta tax credit up to a $200 donation. Over $200, it is even higher.

If you have any questions, send us a note at KidsHelpingKidsCalgary@shaw.ca or click on “comments” below and send your message, or your bid.

Denika’s updates:

  1. Denika says:

    So what can a kid do? Talk to your friends and get them talking about kids that might not have lunch. Make posters for your school or community so people are aware. Make t-shirts. Collect bottles with your parents and donate the money to Brown Bagging It for Calgary Kids. Hold a lemonade stand and donate the money. Use brown lunch bags for your lunch to raise awareness. Talk to your parents for help on ideas. Every cent counts as it only costs them $1 to provide a kid lunch. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook (if you are 13 or older) or have your parents do it.

  2. Denika says:

    So, today I went to the brown bagging it kitchen to help make lunch and when I got there I had NO idea that we would be making 460 lunches just for a bunch of schools and the community was making 2238 and I saw how cool it was to help others. If you want to do the same all you need to do is ask your parents how you can help, ask any questions on our Facebook page, twitter page, or you can ask questions on here and we will try ASAP to answer you. You can check out the story on CTV news tonight or maybe their website tomorrow

    thanks

    Denika says:
  3. So, todays the dead line to donate for JB tickets and we have not had a single donation, So guys PLEASE donate even if you don’t like Justin Bieber just help out the kids imagine going without lunch every day. Thats what those kids are going through, EVERYDAY CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT! so please go talk to your friends, who talk to there friends and DONATE a little goes a long way. I would even appreciate $5 and I would be so happy but not as happy as some of those kids would be if they got a lunch. Did you know $1 fr a lunch, thats all that it costs them so please donate.

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Hello world!

Did you know that thousands of Calgary kids go without lunch every day? Did you know that a Calgary charity is trying to change that and they can feed these kids lunch for only $1 a day? Did you know these kids live in YOUR neighbourhood, even if you live in an upscale neighbourhood? Did you know that from October 1 to November 15th, every dollar donated to this charity will be matched up to a total of $60000? Did you know that your donation could give you up to a 50% tax refund? Here is the story from CTV News http://calgary.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=771049&playlistId=1.974121&binId=1.819187  and Metro News http://metronews.ca/news/calgary/383247/young-calgary-girl-forfeits-justin-bieber-tickets-for-charity/

We are Corvyn, 14, and Denika, 12. Our dad bought a pair of Justin Bieber tickets. We don’t like Justin Bieber. At all. But he bought them just in case one of us changed our mind (because 12 year old girls sometimes do that). And when we still said no way, he had an idea…..what if he could give away a life changing experience to someone? We cannot imagine Bieber being life changing for anyone, but we know there are some big fans that didn’t get tickets.

So he asked friends, and Twitter, and Facebook, and looked for ideas on how to give them away, and to whom. There were options like giving them to a charity so that they could raise money; donating them to a silent auction for charity; giving them to a random person on the street; holding a contest, and so many other ideas. But that was months ago and there was so much time and nothing was really hitting us with WOW.

Our dad likes to watch the news, and likes us to be aware of current events, and there were two recent news stories that caught his attention that he shared with us. The first one was about an amazing 10 year old girl in Edmonton that was recovering from a rare form of cancer. Isabella Tonn was selected as a recipient of Make-A-Wish Foundation, and rather than choosing Bieber tickets, she decided to volunteer at an orphanage in Mexico instead. What an amazing selfless act and inspiring for us. There was another story about a former cheerleader that had a tragic accident in Croatia and was ringing up massive medical bills as she failed to purchase travel insurance. Her family created a website to help pay the costs of transporting her back to Canada and successfully raised $142000, so far.

This led to our family discussing how many Canadian charities could have used that kind of money. Understand, if we were that injured girl, we would want people to help bring us back to Canada as well. But, we have homeless people, and jobless people and kids that don’t get breakfast or lunch in this country. So our dad started looking for a charity that helped kids, so that we could do something to try and raise funds like they did for the cheerleader. After all, we had Justin Bieber tickets to give away. He found a few, but it seemed like many were backed by big campaigns or large corporations and we wanted to find something that we could relate to. Then a couple of Twitter folk directed him to Brown Bagging It For Calgary Kids.

Corvyn already volunteers in the community, and Denika wanted to do something, but it is hard at 12. I applied for Mayor for a Day and had some great ideas, for a 12 year old, and knew about Mayor Nenshi’s 3 Things for Calgary and so this idea seemed like my chance to do something. This charity touched us as we went to a school last year where kids wouldn’t have lunch, including some of our friends. We knew kids that had a can of pop and bag of chips as their lunch. We did not think much of it until our dad found Brown Bagging It for Calgary Kids charity and we realized how big an issue this is in a supposed rich city like Calgary and we wondered if those friends truly forgot lunch or if they were falling through the cracks and this school was being missed.

Brown Bagging It for Calgary Kids provides 3000 Calgary kids with lunch everyday. We want kids from all over Calgary to make adults aware that there are kids starving in Calgary and get people to donate to this charity. We want kids to join us: talk to your parents about friends and classmates that don’t have lunch and encourage parents, friends, and companies to donate and support Brown Bagging It for Calgary Kids. There can be many reasons for this, but regardless of the situation, kids should not be suffering. We don’t expect to raise $142000 but lets see what we can do. Click “comments” at the bottom of the page to read Denika’s updates and add your own comments and keep reading for information on free Bieber tickets!

How can you help?

- Learn more about Brown Bagging It at http://www.brownbaggingit.org/

- Watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mjf-Y_kVL2E&feature=share&list=UUaqILc2PlJbR7bHPd1Og_zw

- Check out their Facebook page at: http://www.Facebook.com/BB4CK

- Follow them on Twitter at @brownbaggingit

- Volunteer to help make lunches

- Vote for Brown Bagging It at http://www.whatgivesyyc.com/vote.shtml which is giving away $12500 to a charity.

- Most importantly, DONATE so that kids have lunch. It only costs $1 to feed a child lunch. – Donations can be made the following ways:

Donate securely  http://www.brownbaggingit.org/donate-time-or-money/

IOverMPORTANT: In the Designation box, click the drop arrow and select Lunch Program and then in the message box, type in “KIDS”.  We have learned the link does not work sometimes. Just try it again, and if it still won’t work, drop us a line at kidshelpingkidsCalgary@shaw.ca

You can also mail in a donation to:

Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids
Suite 315 – 223 12th Ave SW
Calgary, AB
T2R 0G9

Every dollar counts, but if you donate over $20, you will receive a tax receipt.

Oh yeah, Bieber tickets. This section has been updated due to NO donations as of October 9th. We are are trying to raise awareness and encourage all donations, and every donation over $20 will receive a tax receipt. What good is a tax receipt? In Alberta, a 15% federal tax credit and a 10% Alberta tax credit up to $200. Over $200, it is even higher. We are hoping someone will step forward and make a big donation for the Bieber tickets. Tickets are still listed over $1000 on auction websites. So if you are prepared to spend $1000, why not get a tax receipt by donating to this charity? I calculated the tax refund to be $450 on a $1000 donation. There is currently a bid of $300 for the tickets and we will update this until they are gone. Please send us a message to KidsHelpingKidsCalgary@shaw.ca if you wish to bid for the Bieber tickets.  If we don’t get the big donation, stand by for a backup plan which is why it is important you put KIDS in the message box when you donate. All donations between Oct 1 and Nov 15 will be matched by the Prosser Foundation!

If you have any questions, send us a note at KidsHelpingKidsCalgary@shaw.ca or click on “comments” below and send your message, or your bid.

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