Children helping children

Fundraising by Credo Elementary School

By Wendy Kittlitz

Last fall I received a phone call from a teacher at Credo Elementary, a local Christian school.

“Our school does an annual fundraiser,” she told me, “and we would like to suggest that this year we raise funds for your Waiting to Belong program. We’ve noticed that we have quite a few foster and adoptive families in our school and we’d like to highlight that in our fundraiser.”

Subsequently, we got together to chat about what we would do with the funds donated by the school to our program. We agreed that it would be great if these donations could directly benefit families who are fostering or adopting. As we chatted, I shared with the teacher and her colleague that one of the things Waiting to Belong does is provide some post-adoption support to families through our counselling ministry. One aspect of that is sending free resources to families from time to time to help in their journeys. That resonated with these teachers and we agreed that we would spend their donations on resources (books and DVDs) to add to the ones we already have to send to families who could use them.

I visited the school in early April to share a bit about our program and answer questions the children might have as they launched their fundraiser. The children were very interested and responsive to this information. Over the next several weeks, children gave their change to this cause. Some did extra chores, some brought their allowances, others talked to their families. In all over $1,300 was raised!

Teachers from Credo Elementary at our office to give their school's donation.

In May, the teachers came back to our office and brought a big bag of mostly small change the children had collected. We gratefully received their funds and almost immediately spent most of it on DVDs from Texas Christian University’s Institute of Child Development.

We were able to give away a gift bag at the Together for Adoption Canada conference of a selection of these resources (with a total value of well over $200). It went to a family from Saskatchewan! We were so thrilled to see children (a number of whom were adopted themselves) giving back to families caring for other children. Thank you, Credo Elementary School, for your generosity and vision to serve others!

Wendy Kittlitz is vice-president of counselling and care ministries for Focus on the Family Canada. She has worked as an adoption professional for 15 years and is also an adoptive mom.