Hope Bear is the Anglican Foundation's new furry mascot.

Foundation's new fund for kids and by kids

A new trust fund from the Anglican Foundation sets the old institution on a fresh path: engaging little people in the pews.

Hope Bear is the Anglican Foundation's new furry mascot.
Hope Bear is the Anglican Foundation’s new furry mascot.

The Kids Helping Kids fund will support Canadian children by contributing to health care, assistance for special needs children, educational resources, arts materials, and camp fees.

The main supporters are Anglican kids across Canada, who can join the foundation and support the fund for a toonie. A stuffed Hope Bear is also available for $20—already a popular gift choice for grandparents and parents who want to encourage generosity at a young age.

The project is the brainchild of the new executive director, the Rev. Canon Dr. Judy Rois. She was inspired by 25 years of ministry where she worked to integrate children into parish life.

“I’ve found that kids are incredibly generous. They have a generous spirit,” she said.

She also notes that there is much need in Canada. One in seven Canadian children lives in poverty. One in four children in First Nations communities lives in poverty.

The Kids Helping Kids fund first launched with a toonie membership campaign, piloted in two parishes during Lent 2011.

At St. Hilary’s in Mississauga, Ont., children filled old film canisters with toonies and loonies. The 22 children of the parish raised more than $300, and were delighted when Canon Rois visited to deliver their membership certificates in person.

“It was sweet satisfaction to see kids who came in with loonies and toonies being appropriately proud that they had made a contribution,” said their minister, the Rev. Paul Walker. “You could see it on their faces.”

At Christ Church Deer Park, in Toronto, Ont., 48 children took up the challenge as part of their many giving disciplines. The Rev. Samantha Caravan, assistant curate, said the fund has the potential to be “deeply transformative for both sides” because it encouraged children in their affluent neighbourhood to think of others who had greater needs.

For stage two, Canon Rois is introducing Hope Bear, the stuffed animal mascot of the foundation, who will be developing his own presence and personality in the coming months. Canon Rois has penned a children’s book about his travels and she plans to set up a blog where children can follow Hope Bear’s journeys and interact with him.

These child-focused plans are all part of a new vision that Canon Rois is bringing to the foundation.

“We want to do everything we can to be as generous as possible,” she said. “When people contact us and say ‘I’d really like to send my kids to camp but I can’t afford it,’ we can say, ‘yes we can do that.'”

For more information about promoting generosity among children in your parish, or to donate to the Kids Helping Kids fund, contact Canon Rois by email.

Interested in keeping up-to-date on news, opinion, events and resources from the Anglican Church of Canada? Sign up for our email alerts .