For most children, a birthday party is a chance to get lots of toys from friends, but not nine-year-old Nihla Ong. For her, it was a chance to give back.
“They’re building a hospital and I want them to have enough money to afford all of the stuff they need for the hospital,” Ong said from her home in Evergreen on Sunday.
Nilah donated all of her birthday money last month to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan and her parents’ couldn’t be more proud.
“She came to us and she was the one who said you know what mom I want to do this,” mother Jenelyn Ong said.
“I used to work at the pediatrics department at the university and so my kids got to learn more about the children’s hospital and it got them interested in helping other kids,” she added.
Nilah isn’t the only kid in Saskatoon trying to make a difference. Calla Gross, 11, is also doing her part to help children in need.
Calla spent the first two months of her life in the hospital after being born three months premature.
“I started fundraising when I was four and I realized it would be good to have a children’s hospital and kids need that,” Calla said from her home in Saskatoon.
Every year since, Calla has been collecting donations and giving them to the Children’s Hospital annual Radiothon in February.
“I usually donate my birthday money, some Christmas money and just recently I set up a fundraising page,” she explained.
Calla is this year’s Children’s Miracle Network Champion Child and wants to do her part to make sure the new hospital is a happy place.
“I know what it’s like to be in the hospital and that’s why I donate because I don’t want other kids’ experiences to be scary,” Calla added.