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Nine year old Caylie Castonguay donates birthday money to CHEO

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Ontario Provinical Police

Nine year old Caylie Castonguay donates birthday money to CHEO
Most kids wish for the latest toy on their birthday. Caylie Castonguay made the decision to give the entire $175 of her birthday money to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). It’s not the first time Caylie gave away her money. Last year she donated $100 to the Red Cross towards relief efforts in Haiti after the earthquake.
PHOTO CREDIT - Submitted Photo

Long Sault - Aug. 23, 2011 - Most kids wish for the latest toy on their birthday. Caylie Castonguay made the decision to give the entire $175 of her birthday money to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO).

“It’s important because there are a lot of sick people and they need money to get better. If I were like that I’d be very sad,” said the 9 year-old Casselman resident.

It’s not the first time Caylie gave away her money. Last year she donated $100 to the Red Cross towards relief efforts in Haiti after the earthquake. She feels it is vitally important so she has put forward a challenge to other children turning 9 this year to get involved in a charitable donation as a way to celebrate their birthday. Carmen Wynn, Special Events Manager thinks Caylie is very impressive. “I think it’s fantastic. It’s like kids helping kids. She asked for donations and raised quite a bit of money to CHEO. We’re getting more and more young people coming in and doing that so it’s very much appreciated.”

Even though Caylie’s donation came from her own volition, Wynn said that it is a pre-requisite for Ottawa students to have 40 hours of volunteer work under their belt by the time they hit high school. “It began a few years ago in Ottawa. We help them out by giving volunteer hours. It’s a win-win.”

A refreshing new reality in light of a Statistics Canada report showing Canada’s long tradition of supporting charities is on the decline. 5.6 million people donated money last year. That was down from 5.8 million in 2008 and was the lowest number of donors since 2002, when 5.5 million people gave money. In dollar terms, total donations dropped to $7.75-billion in 2009 from $8.19-billion in 2008 and $8.65-billion in 2007.

With kids like Caylie it is quite possible supporting charities may be on the rise again. It is a generosity she plans to continue. Next time, Caylie plans to donate to Make a Wish Foundation and Cats and Dogs Foundation.


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