Sotheby's Days of Giving Raises $20,000 Kids' Health Links Foundation and SickKids

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On September 12, 2018, over 80 Sotheby’s International Realty Canada (SIRC) team members, family and friends met at their Toronto offices in the first Days of Giving (LIVE Giving) pilot program. This video captures the spirit of the event.

The SIRC team assembled over 300 craft kits, and as importantly, raised $20,000 for KHLF and SickKids Foundation. Congratulations and thanks to the top three fundraisers – Alessia Polo/Janice Williams, Nigel Denham and Linda Chu.

Now that the pilot is complete and with the many lessons learned, the plan will be to roll out similar programs across the country in the communities SIRC serves. This roll out will leverage the relationships that Kids’ Health Links Foundation has in over 30 children’s hospitals and other paediatric health care facilities across Canada.

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada intends to designate a few individual days throughout the year where everyone from SIRC will be involved in similar activities all in support of kids in hospitals, ideally on the exact same day. The impact from the full force and effect of this involvement would be substantial.

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada: Artfully uniting extraordinary experience and extraordinary children.

"The Story of How I Became a Child Life Volunteer" – by K. Elina

K. Elina is currently a Kids' Health Links Foundation Ambassador and is a former Upopolis user. She took it upon herself to write this blog post on her experience with the peer-support platform, her passion for the profession of Child Life, and her life as a difference-maker. Thank you K. Elina for your dedication to Upopolis over the years and your commitment to making the world a better place. You are an inspiration!

 

"Having Mitochondrial Complex One and Four Disease means I am immunocompromised, and has caused neutropenia. This limits me from participating in community-based settings including doing things that interest me, like volunteering for hospitals. But as a teen, I was introduced to a virtual program called Upopolis. I first became a user, and eventually an online Mentor to other youth in various leadership roles on platform.
Then when I was 19, I gathered research in resources for Child Life Specialists (a profession that works with children, youth and families in hospitals) and participated in speaking events answering questions about my experience being a pediatric patient. I developed my own personal blog and over time, through learning from the Khan Academy's Entrepreneur courses and becoming a Khan Academy Support Advocate Volunteer, I learned how Entrepreneurship can impact the world.
While I will never be a Child Life Specialist, I do have the title of Child Life Volunteer. As an Artist, and with the many skill sets I’ve learned over time, I plan to deliver my skills for free to all Child Life Specialists. I know this profession makes a difference, and for any youth out there, no matter what challenges you face, there are many ways you can help make a difference.
After all, technology allowed me to accomplish anything. Everyone in my life shaped me, mentored me and cared for me as I am today, and because of this, I withstand the odds that were stack against me and push ahead. My most happiest part of all is my extreme gratitude to carry the title and term "Child Life Volunteer”.  A profession that works hard to make sure pediatric patients receive more then medicine but also receive the gift of being able to be Child or Teen during challenging times. And, maybe one day, becoming a Child Life Volunteer virtually like I did.
Either way, I take the title "Child Lifeclose to my heart, having volunteered for Upopolis and now the charity that founded the program, Kids’ Health Link Health Foundation. Without the support of Child Life professionals, who administer and manage Upopolis, I would not have made it this far. Imagine for a moment if a pediatric patients like me, who were isolated, didn't have Upopolis? What would have I become? 
Your funding dollars help many youth everyday on Upopolis. Your support helps users gain confidence, leadership and feel connected, like I did, because of the program. Please considering donating to Kids’ Health Links Foundation and supporting Upopolis so other youth can benefit too, get the peer-support available and the access youth-friendly information that Upopolis has to offer.
In Honour and Memory of my Papa who encouraged and supported me in my volunteer roles; who was the greatest supporter of what Upopolis did for me. Every donation made helps another pediatric patient benefit like I did."
- K. Elina

Sheridan Nurseries Becomes Presenting Sponsor of Upedia.ca, the Premiere Online Resource for the Child Life Profession

Sheridan Nurseries Becomes Presenting Sponsor of Upedia.ca, the Premiere Online Resource for the Child Life Profession

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Toronto, Ontario… In a new and exciting partnership, Sheridan Nurseries, Canada’s largest garden centre retailer and grower, is now Presenting Sponsor of Upedia.ca (Upedia)– an international online community and peer-reviewed psychosocial resource library developed for child life specialists to share knowledge and practices that best support and enhance a child and their family’s ability to cope with health care experiences.

Developed by Kids’ Health Links Foundation (KHLF) specifically for child life specialists and those affiliated with child life, Upedia gives professionals the opportunity to spend less time developing and researching effective programs, resources and promising interventions, and more time directly serving the children, youth and families they work with. This unique platform breaks down resource silos to build a virtual community of professionals, supporting them in their commitment to the psychosocial development of children, and aiding them in their work to help children and their families cope with the challenges of hospitalization and illness.

Upedia’s registered members include child life specialists and individuals from related professions from over 200 organizations throughout North America and globally. Upedia’s library of resources began with the submission of content contributions from some of Canada’s leading pediatric institutions, including The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, IWK Health Centre in Halifax, BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario in Ottawa. These pioneering content contributors had a desire to engage in knowledge-exchange and saw Upedia’s vision of removing the barriers to information-sharing within the child life community in order to better serve children and families. Upedia prides itself on its relevancy and ensuring the most current and validated resources, research, clinical tools and interventions are available to help support it’s users and advance the practice of child life.

Karl. E. Stensson, CEO & President at Sheridan Nurseries said, “As one of the few family-owned businesses still operating in Canada after 100+ years, we believe one of the keys to our success has been our belief in the importance of supporting those in our community and more specifically, children. The ability to do so is a result of the passion, commitment and dedication by our entire team to achieve our charitable goals in all areas of our business.” Stensson added, “Kids Health Links Foundation is a child-focused charitable organization with a very low administration fee which ensures the maximum amount of our donation dollars goes directly to supporting the children. We are very proud to support Upedia, an important and valuable online resource for child care professionals, and an extension of the KHLF initiatives.”

“It’s because of the heart and vision of companies like Sheridan Nurseries that programs like Upedia have a chance to fulfill their potential and make their greatest impact,” said Kids’ Health Links Foundation Chairman and Co-founder, Basile Papaevangelou. “As a major supporter of KHLF over the last five years, Sheridan’s presenting sponsorship of Upedia solidifies our important partnership and demonstrates the company’s deep rooted commitment to supporting the well-being of children in the communities in which they serve.”

Sheridan Nurseries’ partnership will help expand the Upedia Webinar Series, which was created in 2012 in response to an expressed need by child life specialists for more accessible and practice-specific professional development opportunities. In the recent past, Upedia webinars have included critical topics such as, “Pediatric Palliative Care”, “Supporting Children with Autism in a Health Care Setting”, and “Child Development and Chronic Illness.” Sheridan Nurseries’ sponsorship dollars will also help Upedia continue to grow its online collection of over 1600 practical tools, promising interventions and valuable resources developed by child life specialists in hospitals and other health care organizations across Canada.

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About Upedia
Upedia is a national knowledge-exchange initiative and dynamic online community for child life specialists and those affiliated with the child life profession. With ongoing content contributions from pediatric care centres across Canada, child life professionals can access resources, connect and share practical tools, knowledge, and participate in online training to help them best support and enhance a child’s ability to cope with health care experiences. It is an initiative launched and supported by Kids' Health Links Foundation (KHLF). For more information, visit www.upedia.ca.

About Kids’ Health Links Foundation
Kids’ Health Links Foundation was founded by Basile Papaevangelou and his daughter Christina to foster initiatives focused on alleviating the stress, isolation and loneliness for kids and teens undergoing medical care so that they might be better able to overcome traumatic medical experiences. For more information about Kids’ Health Links Foundation please visit www.kidshealthlinks.org.

About Sheridan Nurseries
Sheridan Nurseries has been a grower and purveyor of quality plant material for the landscape industry and gardening public since 1913. With a proud heritage and legacy for innovation, Sheridan Nurseries has grown to be one of Canada’s largest growers of hardy nursery plants and has eight Garden Centres in the Greater Toronto Area. Growing over 1200 cultivars of perennials and hardy nursery stock on 350 hectares in Halton Hills, Ontario, Sheridan Nurseries ships 1.8 million plants annually to markets across North Eastern North America. For more information, visit www.sheridannurseries.com.

 

For more information, please contact:

Upedia, Jessica Miller-Poesch, 780-680-9418, jessica@kidshealthlinks.org

Kids’ Health Links Foundation, Basile Papaevangelou, 647-880-3037, basile@kidshealthlinks.org

Sheridan Nurseries, Valerie Stensson, 416-798-7970, vstensson@sheridannurseries.com 

Celebrating 10 Years of Upopolis with 10 Amazing Months of Content for 10 Diagnosis!

Celebrating 10 Years of Upopolis with 10 Amazing Months of Content for 10 Diagnoses!

Who says birthday celebrations only last one day?!

To celebrate ten years of Upopolis, the programming team will be working with partners, potential partners and youth users to bring "Upoppers" ten months of focused and informative content to the medical resource library within the site - Uknow. This "U10" campaign will also work to raise awareness about Upopolis in hospitals across Canada and throughout various national healthcare communities.

Each of the ten months will focus on one of ten different patient populations/ diagnosis:

  • January - Auto Immune
  • February - Cardiology
  • March - Juvenile Arthritis/ Ortho
  • April - IBS &Crohn’s
  • May - Cystic Fibrosis
  • June - Rare Diseases
  • July / August - Camps
  • September - Childhood Cancer
  • October - Epilepsy
  • November - Diabetes
  • December - Amputee

Here is an example of U10 Programming happening monthly on Upopolis:

  • Weekly posts and content will be added to the site, like relevant info and facts related to the month's featured diagnosis.                                 
  • Upal Features, each month one or two Upals (youth in Upopolis' Leadership Program) will be interviewed and asked to share their stories. 
  • 1-2 users will be asked to lead the Crew Space (medical resource space) for the diagnosis of the month.  
  • Resource Development, youth and staff will be engaged from all Upopolis partner organizations to help with planning and creation of content and resources for the month.
  • New info and links will be added to the Crew Space for the diagnosis the month.
  • Existing relevant content on the site will be highlighted.