“Children Are Our Business” is an initiative to secure sustainable funding to make sure that the Tools for School program will be able to meet the needs of every local child who is in need of a backpack, school supplies and shoes for as long as it is needed.

All local children, regardless of financial status, deserve a good start when they begin the school year.  When they have the basic school supplies, a decent backpack and a decent pair of shoes, they can get that start.

Imagine… that you are a 7 year old child with only one pair of old runners when the teacher tells you that you need a second pair for indoors (and sometimes a third pair for gym).  Or that you have started school and see your classmates with new backpacks, boxes of crayons, markers and calculators, but your backpack is an old one, the one your older brother used 2 years ago… or worse still that you don’t have any and carry your assortment of used stuff in a plastic grocery bag.

Imagine… being a parent of one or more children, you know that school is starting soon and you also know that you cannot afford to buy school supplies, backpacks or shoes that are needed.  You have to make a tough decision,

  1. buy the items needed and go without food, paying a bill, or the rent,
  2. buy some items and juggle the household expenses, or
  3. let your child go to school without school supplies, backpacks or shoes (knowing full well that they will face teasing as well as not having what they need to learn).

This is a terrible position for any parent or caregiver to be put in.  Unfortunately this happens to our children right here in Renfrew County!

Our goal is to ensure that all children have the feeling and the reality of belonging in their community, this includes school.Tools for School allows all children to have the tools they need to begin their school year feeling equal to their peers.

We know that poor children come from poor families.  If children cannot succeed at school and drop out it is likely that their employment possibilities  and opportunities in life are dramatically reduced.  They are then at risk of being a poor adult who may have children who are then poor.  All children deserve to have the opportunity to reach their full potential in life, despite their family status.

You Can Help To Make This A Reality!

We are inviting you to join the “CHILDREN ARE OUR BUSINESS” campaign. The idea is really simple.  We are asking businesses (both large and small) in Renfrew County to sponsor one or more children  on an annual basis for this very empowering program.  It costs only $75 per child, per year.  A small cost when you consider that it can make a huge change in the life and the future of a local child.  Our goal is to secure enough annual sponsors to meet the needs of students in need every year, from now on.

You, your business, your agency, your family or your friends may choose to sponsor one or more child, or you may wish to contribute another amount.  Any amount will be truly appreciated.

CPAN is asking many people to help give some, rather than asking a few to give lots.  Any individual donation of $10 or above can receive a tax receipt upon request.

Here are just some examples of what our wonderful community has done so far to support Children with Tools for School:

  • Collections in the workplace (dress-down Fridays, money in lieu of gifts for Christmas etc.)
  • Sponsored a child per store
  • “Wear a hat to school” day (students helping students)
  • Sponsored a child per employee
  • Families sponsoring a child for each of their own children (as they feel blessed to be able to provide these items for their own children)
  • “Hunger for hope” 24 hour famine  (students helping students)
  • Committed to a goal of raising enough funds for a certain amount of Children (Tim Horton’s Pembroke used their fundraiser Smile Cookies)
  • Held celebrations and asked for sponsorships in lieu of gifts (birthday, wedding, anniversary)
  • Asked for donations in lieu of flowers in memory of a loved one
  • Held a BBQ and recruited sponsors by offering 25% coupon off at store
  • Held a Golf Tournament
  • Held a Concert/Dance/Fundraising Meal
  • Asked groups they are associated with to donate (church, service club, union, etc.)

The Difference this Program Makes Is Amazing!

We know that Tools for School has made a positive difference in the lives of many school children.  These are just a few of the kind remarks that we have received at CPAN:

How Can You Get Involved And Help Local Children?

Everyone and anyone can help.  You can donate, encourage others to donate, or hold fundraisers for Tools For School. If you have an idea, please feel free to contact CPAN. There have been some very unique and creative fundraisers done by people from all walks of life and from all ages!

If you are a business owner/manager (and/or staff) and can sponsor at least one child (donation of $75 each), we will acknowledge your generosity and ask our membership (over 600 individuals and 62 organizations) as well as the general public to support those businesses that support children who are in need, and let them know that they can recognize the businesses in a couple of ways:

1) By looking for the small but very nice door decal for the ‘Children are our Business’ initiative (see Beside) *

2) Checking for your business name on our ‘Children are our Business’ page on the CPAN website

Please download the sponsorship form here.

For more information about CHILDREN ARE OUR BUSINESS please contact CPAN

This project was generously supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation