Each time Taylor and Charlotte celebrate a birthday, kids in Calgary get a gift.
Instead of presents the girls, aged four and two, are rewarded with donations into the Young Scientist Fund set up in their names with the Calgary Public Library.
Mom Dr. Jaime Blackwood and dad Noel Robitaille set up the fund last year, pledging to donate annually for a decade as a way to help youngsters not as fortunate as their own.
They also asked friends and relatives to forego the usual gifts on their daughters’ birthdays and donate instead, swelling the fund.
“We wanted to make a donation to something that would be available to everyone, especially kids from less privileged areas. We thought—the public library does that,” said Jaime, a pediatrician in critical care at Alberta Children’s Hospital.
“It seemed as though the Library could do a lot with our dollars to try and help children and we hope to encourage children, especially girls, to get interested in science and math,” she added.
Her husband Noel, regional director of business development operations for Irving Oil, said it’s important to provide access to knowledge for everyone and the Library fits that bill.
“We see the library as providing valuable building blocks for children of all backgrounds. Education is so important and the library is even more accessible since the decision was made to drop the annual membership fee,” he said.
Meanwhile Jaime is looking forward to explaining to her daughters in years to come how the birthday donations have helped other kids.
“I’m looking forward to hearing from the Library as to what they’ve done with the funds and making the children aware of that,” she added.
– By Chris Nelson