I had decided this morning that I was going to do my blog post on a charity (since the Canadian Cancer Society is sitting all by its lonesome on the “Charities Fighting Cancer” page!) Originally I had planned on writing about the American Cancer Society, but after reading Arianne’s story… well it was obvious which charity I should write about.
The IWK Change Bandits is a charity sponsored by the IWK Foundation, established in 1996. The motto is “Small change can make a big difference”, and every year Change Bandits make this a reality. People from across the Maritimes register as official Change Bandits to raise money for the IWK to purchase new equipment for their hospital. Through the generosity of Maritimers and beyond, this year the IWK raised funds to purchase two anesthesia machines.
Every year, C100 FM sets aside a full day of radio time to raise money for the change bandits and the IWK, as well. They broadcast live from a public location, talk to change bandits who are coming in to drop off their donations, update the totals that are raised. And they tell stories. Stories of the children who have directly benefitted from the IWK. It is these stories that, I’m sorry to say, have me turning off the radio station after a few of them because I’m crying so much I feel like I’m going to be sick. It’s difficult for anyone faced with a medical struggle, but it just seems so much worse when it’s a child who hasn’t even really experienced life yet.
What I love about Change Bandits is that it’s helping all children, regardless of their illness. And it’s so simple because you’re not asking people for a specific, larger donation… just some spare change they might have in their pocket. I have raised money for the IWK Change Bandits in the past, and after reading Arianne’s story this is something me and my family will now be doing every year.
At the end of the day, I really think that is the importance and the power of sharing stories like Arianne’s. It takes us out of our little bubble of a life to look around at what is going on with other people and the struggles they are facing. Whenever I hear a story of a sick child I quietly say a prayer of thanks that, so far, my children are all healthy. Many are not as lucky. To support the IWK Change Bandits and for more information, just click on the image below, or from the “Charities Fighting Cancer” page. As the IWK Foundation’s motto states: “With You, Anything is Possible.”