Jan. 25 marked the 20th year that Palgrave Public School and the Palgrave Rotary Club have contributed to Sleeping Children Around the World (SCAW), a charity that provides bed kits to children aged six to 12 in under-developed and developing nations.

As published in the Caledon Enterprise, Thursday January 27 2011

By Heather Abrey, Enterprise Staff

In the photo: Sleeping Children Around the World Chair Dave Dryden, right, and Palgrave Rotarian Wayne Cowell, left, talk to students at Palgrave Public School on Jan. 25 about how their donations will help children in developing countries. Heather Abrey photo

Dave Dryden, Chair of SCAW, visited the school to collect funds raised by the children - enough to purchase 132 bed kits at a cost of $35 each. The Palgrave Rotary once again matched the school's fundraising efforts up to a total of $4,000. The students managed to surpass that goal.

In total, the school and service club managed to purchase approximately 247 kits, which can consist of a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, clothing, towel, school supplies and mosquito net, depending on local need.

Principal Laurie Johnson spoke to students, who all wore their pajamas to school for the occasion, about being lucky enough to have a favourite pair of pjs, or maybe a few different pairs, and a warm, comfortable bed to sleep in at night.

"Sometimes we have different colours of sheets we get to put on our bed. Some people don't even have a bed," she pointed out.

Not only did children and their families donate money to the cause, Ms Hull's class also donated about $10 each in lieu of holding a 'Secret Santa' at Christmas time, raising a total of $393.

"We lost count of how many bed kits this school has raised, and the parents and the Rotarians," said Dryden, estimating the total over the last 20 years would be about 2,000 to 3,000 kits.

Wayne Cowell, a Rotary member, was on hand to speak to the kids about the service club and their ongoing partnership with both the school and SCAW.

"Do you know what our favourite organization here in Palgrave Rotary is?" he asked students. "That's right, Sleeping Children Around the World."

Over the last 20 years Palgrave Public School has supported many charities, but has always continued to put their efforts toward SCAW "because it's kids helping kids," said Johnson. "And it helps them appreciate what they have, and how they can help other people."

During the Christmas season the students usually take on local causes, and this year crammed several police cruisers full of food that was donated to the Caledon Community Services' Santa Fund.

"We do look after people around here as well, but we also help people out in the world," explained Johnson.

SCAW serves nine countries, and it's not known which one will benefit from the money raised through this initiative just yet. Dryden explained that the volunteer organization, which takes no money for overhead costs, visits different countries at different times of year, depending on which season is best. Currently SCAW is in India, but by March volunteers are expected to be in Africa.

"Over the years I think that they have donated at different times of year, so I think they have probably hit all our different countries," he said of the generous donations from the Rotary Club and Palgrave School.