Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 6/9/2016 (290 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Some people don’t need superpowers to change the world.
Just like Melanie Beaudin. The Royalwood resident has been busy making huge strides with her new non-profit charity, the Frosting Foundation.
The organization, now only nine months old, provides birthday party supplies to sick children in hospitals. These themed "birthday boxes" allow kids to celebrate their special day while being away from their homes and friends.
Beaudin, an employee of the Red River Valley School Division, said the idea stemmed from knowing many friends and family members who had children spend extended time in hospital. A lot of the kids she works with also spend time in hospital, so she wanted to do something to help.
"I heard about a similar organization in the United States that provides birthday supplies to hospitals, but unfortunately they were unable to expand into Canada," Beaudin said. "After sitting on the idea for awhile, we just decided to take it on. Thankfully I had tons of support from family and friends, and it took off so quickly. It’s been amazing."
The Frosting Foundation now has a 10-person board and has sent 114 birthday boxes to over 12 hospitals across Canada from coast to coast. They were also voted top charity in the Kidsville competition this past spring put on by local radio stations 94.3 The Drive and QX 104.
"My first goal was to make a birthday box that was relevant, that could really help put together a little celebration for the child in hospital," Beaudin said.
After working together with the child life department at The Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg, they were able to come up with the first concept of the birthday box, and things took off from there.
One of Beaudin’s goals is to have birthday boxes in 20 hospitals by the end of this year, focusing now on the smaller hospitals with pediatric units.
Beaudin loves how birthdays bring kids together — there have been a number of students in her division who have helped fundraise or collect supplies for boxes, and her own two children love helping with the charity.
"When I began the foundation, it didn’t occur to me how meaningful it would be for other kids to help. A birthday is something all kids can relate to," Beaudin said. "They can imagine what it would be like to be in the hospital for their special day."
The Frosting Foundation will be hosting its first annual Superhero Brunch and Training Academy on Oct. 16. The event is happening at the Centro Caboto Centre (1055 Wilkes Ave.) and it’s a day for kids aged three to 10 to dress up as their favourite superhero and take part in fun activities.
"There are 15 stations for kids to go through to earn their certificate," explains Beaudin. "Once they’ve completed all the activities, they’ll be a certified superhero. It’ll be a lot of fun."
Tickets are $25 which includes brunch and the activities, and proceeds from the event will go towards new birthday supplies for the boxes.
To purchase a ticket, find out more information or donate to the organization, visit their website frostingfoundation.ca.