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Calgary daycare makes ‘monster’ donation to local charity

Click to play video 'Calgary daycare steps up fundraising goal to help kids and families in crisis' Calgary daycare steps up fundraising goal to help kids and families in crisis
Kids from a Calgary daycare and school raised more money this year for a local charity than they had in the last three years combined. Deb Matejicka reports. – Jan 14, 2021

They may be wee but the amount of money kids from a Calgary daycare and school managed to raise for a local charity is certainly not.

“Over the past few years we’ve raised $10,000 but because of COVID this year, and seeing the demand for help… we thought: let’s go big or go home,” said Brianna Hewston, marketing director for the Wee Wild Ones and Of the Wild Nature School.

Since 2017, the two centres, which share the same owner, have held an annual Monster March fundraising walk to raise critical dollars for the Children’s Cottage Society.

“We made masks and walked around St. Patrick’s Park,” explained kindergarten student Ben McCarthy of the annual one-day event.

Read more: Charitable events in Alberta go virtual during COVID-19 pandemic

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COVID-19 restrictions prevented them from doing that this year. Instead, they held a month-long, virtual event and it paid off.

The pint-sized heroes managed to bring in an impressive $50,000.

“The fact that they were not only able to make the event happen; they raised five times the amount they did the year before,” said the Children’s Cottage director of marketing, Elisha Jackson.

“$50,000 is a huge deal to our organization.”

She said the money raised will help support operations at the Children’s Cottage Society’s Crisis Nursery – a 14-bed, 5,000-square-foot facility in the community of Bridgeland that provides free, short-term and around-the-clock care for kids whose families are dealing with a difficult or stressful situation.

Click to play video 'Some charities struggling during COVID-19 pandemic' Some charities struggling during COVID-19 pandemic
Some charities struggling during COVID-19 pandemic – Oct 24, 2020

“That might be a mom with post-partum depression who just needs a night to sleep or it could be something like domestic violence, mental health issues, poverty, you name it,” explained Jackson.

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“So the child is able to stay here, safe while their parents are dealing with the really tough adult issues.”

Jackson said each year, the Crisis Nursery has to turn away more kids than they can help.

COVID-19 restrictions on capacity mean it will have to turn away even more this year but thanks to the big donation from those little friends, it will still be able to offer the very best care.

“With that amount of money, we’ll be able to ensure that 166 children are kept safe during a time of crisis in their lives,” said Jackson.