At what ages does a person formulate the desire to volunteer, to give back? Something sparked in Megan, at age 7, when she heard about giving back to the community on a TV show this summer. It’s a trait that’s an important thread in her parents’ lives, as Glenn and Angie Ewanchuk are both realtors and Glenn is the President of the Realtors Community Foundation. “The key thing in our home is volunteering,” says Angie.
After watching this show and thinking about how she could give back, Megan asked her parents what she could do. They made a list, went through some possible charities and settled on the E4C School Lunch Program. “It’s a program that makes a real impact,” says Angie. “When I explained that just $200 would provide 100 meals to children, Megan’s eyes lit up.”
So Megan got to work and recruited her younger sister, Allison, age 5. The sisters thought of their best skill and settled on creativity. In the summer of 2014, their creative outlet was something called “rainbow loom” bracelets, so they decided to sell them.
As true project managers, their next step was guaranteeing sales. The girls worked out their pitch and went to the local farmers’ market. Quickly securing a booth, they got to work and made 53 bracelets. They were a huge hit: the girls sold out and had to stay up quite late to create a second batch.
“It was a lesson in giving, but it was also a lesson in planning,” Angie recalls. “You don’t start by doing, you start with a plan. It’s so important for our girls to know that because planning is an essential skill in life.”
In the fall, once school started back up, Angie and Glenn connected with the E4C School Lunch Program to set-up a day for their daughters to volunteer and learn about where their donation went. Angie describes, “The day was an eye-opener for our girls. As soon as they open their eyes, they are being fed breakfast. And that’s from a full menu; they decide what they want to eat. They learned that not every kid in Edmonton gets that.”
The spark of this project was carried back to school, with Allison giving a stellar presentation to her grade one class about her experience. The girls were featured on the school’s “Panda TV” sharing their experience and now they have been nominated for a Great Kids Award.
It’s the trickle effect of this donation that strikes a chord. Its parents empowering children, it’s children showing empathy for fellow children and its word of mouth, from kid to kid. Megan asked a why question and then formulated a plan with Allison on how to help. It’s this thought process that sparks compassion and propels our community forward.
Megan and Allison made 53 bracelets for a total of $235 and they’ve already started brainstorming their 2015 projects.