Ten-year-old pals Step It Up

After raising more than $1,000 for charitable organizations, Kaelan Henders and Will Heine, both 10, have more fundraising ideas. - Brian Giebelhaus photo
After raising more than $1,000 for charitable organizations, Kaelan Henders and Will Heine, both 10, have more fundraising ideas.
— image credit: Brian Giebelhaus photo

The creative efforts of two 10-year-olds has led to hundreds of dollars being raised for children in need.

At last count, Kaelan Henders and Will Heine had collected $1,200 for charitable organizations World Vision and Free the Children – and the two friends plan to give that number a further boost in the coming months.

“By the end of this year, we would like to raise $2,000,” Kaelan said.

The Grade 5 Rosemary Heights Elementary students were inspired to take action by Free the Children’s We Day – an event held in Vancouver last fall that celebrates the ability of youth to make a difference – and World Vision television ads.

“I was watching World Vision on TV and then I sponsored a child in Indonesia and we wanted to help more kids in Indonesia,” Kaelan said, noting he went door to door requesting donations.

Will joined in shortly after, and the two hosted a December movie night at the Clova Cinema in Cloverdale, where they screened Yogi Bear and raised more than $1,000 by selling tickets in their school and neighbourhood.

“It took a lot of planning but we managed to get it done,” Will said. “We ended up raising a lot.”

“We got our class involved,” Kaelan added. “They helped sell tickets; they donated, too.”

The students – who fundraise under the name Step It Up – presented some of the money they collected to a World Vision representative who visited the class in January.

They plan to donate the rest of the funds to Free the Children, which is sending a speaker to the class next week.

Kaelan and Will are now planning another campaign, which will see them collect orders for Canucks and Step It Up shirts they plan to purchase from a T-shirt company. They are also looking to raise money by holding a school talent show.

“We hope to do this for the rest of our lives,” Will said of giving back. “We have a bunch of people in our class who are helping us with ideas for fundraisers.”

The two friends never expected their fundraising to make it this far, Kaelan noted.

“I was pretty surprised when I got like $100 from door to door, but we’ve got $1,000,” he said. “It feels pretty good.”

Will agreed.

“It’s a really good feeling knowing you are helping out people who are suffering in different parts of the world.”


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