A Lifestyle of Generosity Donor Feature: Margot & Paul Williamson

Paul and Margot and the Williamson family

Paul and Margot and the Williamson family

Paul and Margot Williamson

Paul and Margot Williamson

For Paul and Margot Williamson, supporting the community is a high priority.

The Williamsons have lived in Brantford for most of their lives. During that time, they have been involved in dozens of community projects and charitable causes.

That’s why sponsoring Storybook Breakfast has been such a good fit for them.

“I first started supporting Kids Can Fly in my role as a foundation manager for a local foundation. I convinced them to provide seed funding to Kids Can Fly when it was first starting out,” explained Paul.

“In that role, I got to see numerous worthwhile projects, and helped to make meaningful investments in the community, especially ones that support children.”

The Williamsons quickly developed their own business and were able to support charitable causes directly. Paul let go of managing that foundation and moved on to support local charities on his own. All the while, Kids Can Fly was close to his heart.

“I’ve actually only gone to Storybook Breakfast once,” said Williamson. “I liked it, and that was good enough for me.”

The Williamsons have been sponsoring Storybook Breakfast ever since! He estimates that it has he and his wife, Margot, have supported the event for more than 15 consecutive years.

Paul and Margot encourage other potential donors to be generous with their money as well.

“Each year, I sponsor so that I can also get some of my friends in the giving sector to sponsor as well,” he said. “It’s easy to convince them when I’ve done it myself.”

This year, Storybook Breakfast is aiming to raise $30,000 for Kids Can Fly. With families like the Williamsons, it’s very possible Kids Can Fly will reach that goal! If you would like to be a sponsor, please CLICK HERE.

SC Johnson and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Join Forces to Provide Free Books to Families in the Community

Over the past five years, SC Johnson has supported Kids Can Fly and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, by helping to fill a child’s home with books and encourage their whole family’s love of reading.  With the Imagination Library, children from birth to age five receive a free, personalized book in the mail every month.  Children experience the joy and fun of receiving a book every month, chosen just for them and their stage of life—at no cost to families.

Kids Can Fly wanted to ensure that the SC Johnson team members and their families could share in the joy of reading too with a Little Free Library installed outside their employee entrance.

“Kids Can Fly and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is proud to partner with SC Johnson in helping ensure Brantford and Brant County children have access to books to improve early literacy and get them off to a good start before entering school,” said Jeanne Smitiuch, Regional Director for the Dollywood Foundation of Canada,  “a new report released this week by the Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation reinforces the importance of powerful partnerships like this one, which focuses on early literacy as a strong foundation for future success of children”.

Canadian Children’s Literacy Foundation-Deloitte-Report-Insights 

The Little Free Library was constructed by high school student, Blake Gibson at Organized Kaos, which exists to apprentice young people in life and trade inspiring hope and purpose working and learning alongside skilled trades persons in the community.

Alicia Moffat, Program Coordinator, Kids Can Fly and Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and Terry Maclellan,  Director, Human Resources, SC Johnson. 

Thank you to the Canadian Maple Wings Association!

We were so happy to be contacted by a representative from the Golden Triangle Chapter of the Canadian Maple Wings Association about making a $500 donation to Kids Can Fly!

They are a group of active and former TCA/Air Canada Flight Attendants.  This group was formed in 1980 and was the result of a reunion in Toronto which brought 728 Trans Canada Airlines stewardesses together (Air Canada flight attendants were accepted later).

They are a non-profit, non-sectarian and non-partisan organization with nine chapters across Canada.  The membership stands at approximately 600 and is bonded together in friendship and supports many worthy organizations.  2020 was their 40th anniversary.

They read about our charity in the Brantford Expositor and loved the work that we do in Brantford and Brant County and we are so grateful they reached out to us!

Thank you Rotary Club of Brantford Sunrise!

We were thrilled to have the Rotary Club of Brantford Sunrise present a cheque to Kids Can Fly for $10,000 last week during their virtual club meeting!

                

This money is the third installment in a $30,000 commitment to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails a free book every month to children living in Brantford and Brant County.  Kids Can Fly raises the funds for this program and greatly relies on the support of businesses, individuals and organizations in the community for support.

We are extremely grateful to have had the tremendous support of the Rotary Club of Brantford Sunrise since this program began in this community 10 years ago!

For more information about this program, please email Alicia at admin@kidscanfly.ca for more info

County of Brant gets behind Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library!

We are thrilled that the County of Brant has decided to make a huge investment in the children who will be future youth and adults in the community by committing $20,000 to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program!

The cheque was presented to Sharon Brooks (Executive Director of Kids Can Fly) and Leslie Downie (Chair of the Imagination Library Committee) at the Family Literacy day kick off event on Sunday January 26.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library mails a free book every month to children living in Brantford and Brant County from birth until 5 years of age.  Kids Can Fly raises almost $100,000/year for the early literacy program for both Brantford and Brant County.  Funds come from the hard work of the Imagination Library committee from fundraisers, corporate grants, community grants and private donations.

This grant from the County of Brant will make a huge difference in our ability to get more children living in the County onto the program in 2020.

Thank you to Mayor David Bailey and the council of the County of Brant for this investment in our youngest community members!

Here is the official press release from the County of Brant:

On Sunday, January 26, 2020, at the Family Literacy Day event, the County of Brant presented a $20,000 grant to Kids Can Fly.

“We are thrilled to support Kids Can Fly and the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program,” said Mayor David Bailey from the County of Brant. “Engaging a child in literacy develops language skills, stimulates the imagination, teaches empathy and shares a wealth of knowledge. We want to thank Kids Can Fly for all the work they do and for positively impacting the children and families in this community.”

The grant will support approximately 400 children, from ages zero to five years old, in the County of Brant to receive a book each month. A total of 60 books will be mailed, free of charge, to each child throughout their early years.

“This program promotes and encourages parents to read to their children from birth. Starting to read to your child at birth can have a tremendous impact on their lifelong development,” said Sharon Brooks, Executive Director of Kids Can Fly. “As a baby, the time spent speaking to your baby and cuddling them helps facilitate the parent-child connection. As they grow into toddlers, they are so excited to receive a special book in the mail each month. They begin to explore the world and language through these wonderful books. Regularly reading to a young child helps them to recognize letters and words and expand their imagination. Children who are read to in their early years often enter school with advanced language skills and have more awareness of the world around them.”

Kids Can Fly has been running the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program for 10 years. The books are purchased in bulk from Penguin Random House publishing.

“Because of the grant from the County of Brant, we will be able to serve every family in Brant who requests to join the program and we will no longer have a waitlist,” said Brooks. “We would like to thank the County of Brant for investing in the future of our kids.

To register your child for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library program, visit www.kidscanfly.ca or fill in a hardcopy form at any County of Brant Public Library.

Thank you Brant Community Foundation for your support!

We were thrilled to receive 2 grant cheques this week from the Brant Community Foundation for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and the Launch Pad.

The $4000 grant for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library will support 80 children on the program this year.

The $18,000 grant for Launch Pad  and comes from directly from the Bill and Dorothy Campbell Fund.  Bill and Dorothy were the inspiration for Launch Pad and have always been the biggest supporters.  Thank you to them and their families for your love and support of this program.

Brant Community Foundation handed out many grants this week, and supports so many programs that are making huge changes in the lives of those who live in Brantford and Brant County.  For more information about this incredible Foundation, click HERE.