Abby, Paige, and Sydney Vrolyk saw a need in their community and decided to do something about it. On May 3, the sisters launched “Snacks for Summer,” a campaign to raise $5,000 to purchase snacks for local children and youth. The snacks are to be distributed from June 25 to August 28, 2018. The three are running the campaign, but they’ve enlisted the help of family, their community, and their church, Redeemer Christian Reformed Church in Sarnia, Ont.
Abby (15), Paige (17), and Sydney (18) recognized that many of their peers relied on their school’s breakfast programs and snack supplies during the school year but didn’t have access to that support for the summer. As their campaign slogan notes, “Hunger doesn’t take a vacation.”
The girls’ parents, John Vrolyk and Helen Van Sligtenhorst, have been very supportive, said Paige, providing trips to the grocery store, help with details, and lots of encouragement. “This has been really good for the girls,” said Helen Van Sligtenhorst. She noted that the girls have taken ownership of the campaign at every level, promoting it on the local radio station, requesting help from the church council, writing thank-you notes, and approaching organizations for support. “We’re very proud of all of them.”
Sydney is an honorary deacon at Redeemer CRC, and all three girls are actively involved in the church. Within five days of their speaking to council about the project, said Paige, a room was fitted with shelving and transformed into a pantry. The church treasurer took on the responsibility of issuing receipts for donations.
The girls have already started buying in bulk. Together they will assemble 30 snack packs per week, each with 14 snacks, to be distributed through the local St. Vincent de Paul food bank. The food bank advised them on the types of snacks to buy for the best nutrition.
“We are overwhelmed with the support we’ve received,” said Paige. The Sarnia Police Association donated $500 and Abby’s class raised $120 with a bake sale. Others have donated on the spot in the grocery store. The sisters are already making plans for next year’s campaign.
About the Author
Anita Brinkman is a freelance news correspondent for The Banner. She lives in Chatham, Ontario.