Caring youth: Fall River area children give back to IWK

Handmade cards amde by Alyssa Rose as part of the fundraiser. (Submitted photo)

WELLINGTON: Four groups of young kids from the Fall River area showed the true meaning of giving back recently, fundraising to purchase more Holter heart monitors for the IWK in Halifax.

Alyssa and Ainslie Rose; and Olivia and Reece Woodill, all four from Wellington; Aili and Cailyn Pearcey, who call Fall River home; and Kaci and Kaden Sprague of Waverley all contributed to the fundraiser. All are students between three schools—Holland Road Elementary School; Waverley Memorial; and Georges P. Vanier Junior High.

Aili Pearcey said it was Alyssa who had initially come up with the fundraising idea. She did it for her sister Ainslie.

“She was born with a heart defect, so we wanted to raise money for the IWK since they had been helping her,” said Aili.

Ainslie was told she may have to wait to get a Holter monitor by the doctors, so that motivated sister Alyssa and her friends to do something.

“Luckily, she got one that day but it showed us that they were low on them so we decided to donate the money to the IWK so they can get more,” Alyssa said.

The kids held lemonade stands during the summer and hot chocolate stands in the winter. They also did a fundraiser with homemade cards, which showcased Alyssa’s artistic ability. She painted each of the cards.

“The one fundraiser that I can remember the most was the time that we sold rocks, Christmas bows, hot drinks, and Christmas cards,” Aili said.

Olivia said people were supportive of their fundraiser, which was held at the end of the Rose driveway in Wellington.

“People were really generous and would often pay more than we were asking,” said Olivia. “One person literally emptied their pockets and gave us everything they had.”

Alyssa said it was fun to make the Christmas cards, but also a lot of work.

“We spent a lot of time turning my paintings into Christmas cards to sell at the end of our driveway,” said Alyssa Rose. “The cards sold well, and everyone liked them.”

Olivia said the Christmas cards were the biggest hit.

“Alyssa’s artwork looked really professional,” she said. “I think the customers were impressed.”

In school they raised $287.60; then they raised $400 more separately, which was matched and doubled to bring the final tally to $1,087.60 raised.

Aili said knowing they were helping other kids was great motivation for them all.

“Just knowing that some kids could get better was really the best type of motivation,” she said. “But it was also just so much fun to be making a difference with my best friends.”

The fact she could help others her age meant a lot.

“I have been really lucky to have stayed healthy and I know it’s not like that for other kids,” she said.

Aili said their friends at Holland Road were helpful in raising money.

Ainslie was thankful for her friends and the IWK staff that take care of her.

“They (the staff at the IWK) work really hard and help so many people,” she said. “When I was little, I called it “my IWK.” When I don’t feel good, they help me feel better.”