In Our Own Backyard
One Ottawa girl has found a crafty way to make a difference.
She’s your typical 12-year-old. She likes to take her dog for a walk, she swims competitively, she likes to draw and paint. And one day last year, she saw Plan Canada’s Gifts of Hope catalogue. And grade 6 Ottawa student Ameena decided she wanted to do something to help.
“It pained me to look at all the kids and people who are poor and don’t have much food,” says Ameena. “I’m very fortunate and have lots of stuff and I wanted to share a bit of my stuff with them.”
What she ended up doing was sharing her time and sharing some hard-earned money. After brainstorming ways she might be able to raise money for Gifts of Hope, Ameena and her mom came up with the idea of cards. It was close to the holidays and Ameena had a flare for crafts, so it seemed an appropriate fit.
“My friend was there at the time and we spent the weekend making cards,” says Ameena.
They set up a table on a busy street in Ameena’s neighborhood, hoping to sell the cards that way. But they didn’t sell very many and decided to pack it in. On their way home, the two friends passed by a craft fair, setting up shop outside. All of the cards sold, bringing in $100.
Ameena was hooked; she loved the idea that she could continue to help out in this way. And so she and her mom approached local businesses, telling people what she was trying to do and bringing samples of her cards.
“I explained to everyone why I was doing it and that made them want to buy them more,” says Ameena.
Her card sales raised $1005 dollars. With it, Ameena bought 10 Mango trees, 3 baby chicks, Classroom essentials for an entire classroom, Anti-malaria bed nets, Endless harvest, Clean water for a family, 3 hens and a rooster and a Motorcycle ambulance. All of which adds up to a whole lot change for a whole lot of people and makes Ameena feel really good. Building on last year’s success, Ameena is selling handmade cards again this year. So far she has raised $700!
“It’s good helping,” says Ameena. “I feel very happy that it’s helping at least some people. And I like making cards, it’s fun to do.”