February has got to be one of the most “blah” months of the year. Luckily it’s a short one; even in a leap year like this one we’ve only got to suffer through 29 days. I’m always looking for ways to brighten up the second month of the year and have something fun to look forward to in the cold months ahead.
Since 2017, one of the things that has brightened up my February and made March a blast is Capes for Kids, a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign that supports Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital (Holland Bloorview).
If you are reading my blog, you likely know about Holland Bloorview, but here is a reminder: we are Canada’s leading pediatric rehabilitation hospital that helps kids with disabilities, medical complexity and chronic conditions reach their full potential. Through medical interventions, therapy, art, music, life skills, programs for readiness for adult life and last, but very far from least, research, kids unlock their power as friends, students, artists, musicians, athletes, teachers and leaders and create their most meaningful and healthy futures.
Capes for Kids is the easiest and most fun way that you can help us, help them.
What do you need to do? Register, fundraise and wear a cape from March 2-8. It’s that simple! You decide where to wear your cape – to work or school, to a big meeting, to the dentist, to the grocery store, on a run, or even on a Saturday night out.
Who are you helping?
Your support funds groundbreaking research, programs, and services at Holland Bloorview that transforms the lives of kids and their families.
We have more than 8,300 kids and youth that come through our doors each year as inpatients and outpatients, with a broad range of diagnoses and functional needs, including young people with autism, concussion and other acquired brain injuries, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, amputation, spina bifida, arthritis, cleft-lip and palate, epilepsy and other physical and developmental conditions. Our clients include tiny infants coming right from the neonatal intensive care unit who aren’t ready to go home yet to 18 year olds preparing for the next phase of their lives as adults.
As Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation hospital and complex continuing care teaching hospital, Holland Bloorview is a global leader in care, education and research. We also train over 500 students each year.
How am I helping?
There are two great things about Capes for Kids. First of all (not to put a fine point on it) – we need funds raised. Without the support of donors through community efforts like Capes for Kids, we would not be able to support families in dire financial need through our Family Support Fund. Nor would we be able to deliver art and music therapy programs. We would not be able to offer teens a first time away from their parents building skills for adulthood through The Independence Program. We are determined to give every child with a disability access to cutting edge research and interventions that research will make possible. And that takes cash too.
But there is a second great thing you do when you put on a cape from March 2-8. Picture yourself in a shiny red cape at a Leafs game. I don’t need to imagine it because I’ve done it. You can guess what happens. People ask questions (even polite Torontonians) and that brings opportunity to raise awareness. To tell people what you know about kids with disabilities or, just as meaningful, tell people you are just yourself learning and they should too (and also sponsor you on your Capes for Kids web page).
It’s so easy
Go to CapesForKids.ca to sign up as an individual or form a team. Make a cape or get a spectacular red Holland Bloorview branded cape once you’ve raised $100. And get as creative as you want about how to fundraise! (suggestions are available on the website)
With Capes for Kids, you know you are doing something important and impactful and bring some much needed fun and colour to get you through those “blah” winter months.