Each year, the Ripple Foundation – a volunteer-led education charity – hosts an annual creative story writing contest, Kids Write 4 Kids. It’s for youth in grades 4-8 across Canada and judged by a panel of editors, authors, previous winners, and faces from the publishing world. Winners have their books published online and in paperback, and they donate 100% of proceeds from their book sales to a charity of their choice. This year’s seventh grade winners Megan Lam and Cora Arvidson were inspired to donate their proceeds to Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada to support children, youth and families affected by child welfare. Together, they raised more than $600!
Cora, from Vancouver, British Columbia, is author of the book Threads: A Poetry Collection, which explores human connection, consciousness and youth. She loves poetry, biking, playing basketball and acting. Megan, from Calgary, Alberta, wrote a book called When You Wish Upon a Star, which is about two sisters and their relationship – a story focused on family, love and honesty. Megan is a fan of reading, especially fantasy novels, and she hopes to be a veterinarian when she’s older!
We sat down with these incredible young authors to learn more about their book and why those chose to support the Foundation.
What inspired you to choose to donate the proceeds from your book to Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada?
Megan: “Helping children and youth has always been something my family has valued. My dad was on the Board for the Boys and Girls Club Calgary, and from a young age, I saw that there were children who were less fortunate and some who needed help.
When I was asked to choose a charity, I knew I wanted to support a charity that helped children and youth. Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada was one of the charities Cora and I discussed and we both felt this charity had an important mission we wanted to support.”
Cora: “Megan and I both felt we wanted to do something that we could see the impact of ourselves, but that would also have a larger impact. We wanted to help give some of the opportunities that we have been privileged with to others, and we are honoured to work with the Children’s Aid Foundation to this end.”
Tell us about your book in a nutshell!
Megan: Evelyn is at her breaking point. Her sister, Emily, is acting as if she is the only one that matters and is accusing Evelyn of trying to abandon her. In a burst of anger, Evelyn wishes she could just be rid of Emily. Of course, she doesn’t really think her wish will come true. But up in the sky, the stars are listening and eager to grant wishes. Readers will find themselves immersed in a story about family, love and honesty. Will the sisters learn the meaning of “be careful what you wish for”?
Cora: We cannot trace our fingers on the lines that connect us. Threads is a book of poetry that imagines human connection as a tangible thing stretching across borders and throughout history.
Why do you feel it is important to stand up for kids who have experienced the child welfare system?
Megan: “Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation we didn’t choose to be in, and this is certainly the case for children who have experienced the child welfare system. I think it is important to help them and give them the right tools so that they can work towards their goals and have a better future.”
Cora: “Childhood is a hugely important part of everyone’s life, and it sets you up for whatever comes next. Those experiences, good or bad, can mean everything for children and youth, and I want to be a part of a world where those experiences are mostly good, where, when something happens, there is a safety net and a way to heal and move forward. I can’t pretend to understand what it feels like to be in such a difficult situation, but I want to try and help, and to show other children that they aren’t alone.”
The team at Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada is grateful to Cora and Megan for choosing to donate the proceeds of their book sales to support children, youth and families affected by child welfare. As a Foundation with a mission to support children and youth through avenues like education and literacy, it is inspiring to see students use reading and writing to help make the world a better place.
Learn more about Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada and our mission on our website.
To find out more about Ripple Foundation’s programs – which hosts the annual Kids Write 4 Kids contest, but also weekly virtual Write It Workshops and Wave Blog, publishing blogs written by youth, for youth – visit ripplefoundation.ca.