Parker Gill-Douglas couldn’t understand why his mother could attend the 100 Women Who Care events and he couldn’t.
Every time his mother, Penny Gill, would leave for a meeting, Parker would insist he was going too. Appreciative that her son was showing interest, Gill decided to do a little research. That’s when she discovered 100 Kids Who Care and a chapter that had been established in Halifax.
Teamed up with Cara Kirkpatrick and Andrea Munroe, the three mothers started looking into launching a chapter in Truro.
“Parker was really curious about what we did at our meetings and how everything worked,” said Gill. “When we learned about the 100 Kids in Halifax, we travelled to Halifax to sit in on a meeting and speak with organizers. On our way back home, we figured if someone was going to start a local chapter, it might as well be us.”
The group is now taking registration and the first meeting has been scheduled for 4 p.m. on June 12 at the Colchester Historeum. Initial response has been favourable as organizers work to get more kids signed up.
While the meeting will follow similar guidelines to the 100 Women Who Care, there will be some twists. The Truro chapter won’t be registering teams and instead of $100, kids will be asked to bring $10 to each quarterly meeting.
“The biggest difference is the fact the kids will do a presentation on the organization they’ve nominated,” said Gill. “We won’t actually have the organization come and speak.
They will be invited to come and watch but we want the kids to do as much talking as possible and the adults to do as little as possible. When we do the draw, the kids chosen will be asked to speak on why they chose the organization. It can be 10 seconds or five minutes.
“The kids actually get up and put the ballot in the ballot box,” continued Gill. “We want them to take it all in from the public speaking right up to how a democracy works.”
Munroe added there are no losers when it comes to 100 Kids.
“We will actually have two runner-up prizes,” she said. “The kids in Halifax who voted for the charities that weren’t chosen were pretty upset. This way, every organization will receive something which should keep everyone happy.”
The group will be open to kids in elementary school. While they won’t necessarily enforce the age limit, they want parents to keep an open mind when it comes to registering older kids.
“It’s important to remember there will be five and six-year-old kids in this group,” said Kirkpatrick. “As kids grow up, the level of the presentations will change as does the value of $10. That money means a lot more to a 13-year-old than it does a five year old.”
With the event less than a month away, the excitement is starting to build, especially for Parker.
“I give it two thumbs up,” he said, adding he was excited to see all his friends at the meeting. “I’m voting for the Truro Homeless Outreach Society. I like them and I like that they help people.”
Kirkpatrick’s daughter, Lily Arthurs, is also looking forward to the first meeting. She’s chosen the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre as her non-profit of choice for very special reasons.
“Sometimes, when my cat attacks birds, he likes to bring them back and leave them,” she said. “It’s important they have a place to go to get better. Also, I really like animals.”
Lily, 7, also played a hand in creating the logo for the Truro chapter and has been busy doing a variety of chores to earn her money for the first meeting.
“My friend helped me wash my mom’s car and we got $5 each for that,” she said. “I had $4 already but I wanted to give $2 to my friend so she could catch up. Now I’ll just keep doing chores around the house to get the money I need.
Alden Fiddes has already been busy recruiting his friends. He’s excited to tell people about the natural playground project he wants to support on Aberdeen Street. He’s planning to sell lemonade and rhubarb to raise his $10.
According to his mom, it’s a unique playground that goes beyond the typical outdoor equipment.
“It’s actually for the school but the community is also able to use it,” said Munroe. “It will have these massive trees that have been knocked over and other natural things. It really allows them to use their imagination and creativity as well as team work to learn how to navigate these obstacles.”
Each mom is also excited about what their kids will take away from being a member of 100 Kids Who Care.
“I want them to feel empowered and help them realize that they don’t need to grow up to inspire change or be involved,” said Munroe. “I think my kids see how I’m involved in different ways and I want them to feel the same. We always hear questions like, what are you going to be when you grow up. It makes them seem like they have to wait before they can get engaged.”
“It’s important they understand that something as little as $10 can make a big difference especially when it’s pooled together like this,” she said. “They don’t have to wait until they have all of this money built up to do some good.”
To register or learn more about the group, visit www.100kidswhocaretruro.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For those interested, Kirkpatrick encourages them to check out the site and get registered as soon as possible.
Part of the online registration form includes a place where a kid can nominate their non-profit of choice. The group will also be at the Truro Farmers’ Market on May 28 to promote the event and share information.
“We’re excited,” said Kirkpatrick. “The kids are excited. We can’t wait to get this going.”