Altrusa International of Campbell River is a John Howard KidStart Gold Champion. (L-R) Sharron Bollefer (Assistant Treasurer)

Supporting local kids through John Howard’s KidStart

Sponsoring a child to participate in John Howard KidStart is a natural fit for Altrusa International of Campbell River, as supporting local children who are facing challenges is one of the club’s highest priorities.

“I don’t think there is anything more rewarding than making a positive difference in a young person’s life,” says Janet Baker, Altrusa treasurer. “Contributing to a program that provides guidance to kids when they need it most is a way to help our entire community be stronger and healthier.”

KidStart is offered by The John Howard Society of North Island and is Campbell River’s only one-to-one mentoring program. This volunteer-based program connects caring adults with children for three hours of fun per week. KidStart focuses on the positive development of children and youth ages 6 to 18 who could benefit from some extra support.

Altrusa is a John Howard KidStart Gold Champion, contributing $1,200 per year.

The 10-year-old girl sponsored by the Altrusa Club is greatly enjoying her time with her mentor.

“My mentor is like the best Grandma ever,” she says. “She helped me get signed up for gymnastics and takes me there. I always know she’s going to be there when she says she’s going to be there, and that’s a good feeling.”

There are 90 children in Campbell River currently on the waitlist for a John Howard KidStart mentor. KidStart relies on donations, grants, and gaming revenue to be able to support vulnerable Campbell River kids. John Howard is inviting other groups and individuals to take part in its KidStart Champions fundraising program.

To become a Champion, choose from three levels of monthly sponsorship (Gold = $100/month, Silver = $50, Bronze = $25). Support a child yourself or organize a group of friends, your family, or your workplace or club to pool small monthly donations for a sponsorship. Donations are tax deductible.

KidStart also appreciates one-time donations, discounts on recreational activities, and coupons for light meals or snacks.

To find out more about donating to KidStart, contact Tara at 250-286-0611 or tara@jhsni.bc.ca. Visit John Howard KidStart on the web at www.jhsni.bc.ca/kidstartchampion