Handmade Christmas ornaments raise over $2,000 to buy toys for kids
By Olivia Robinson
Published Dec. 27, 2017
While some kids added one or two toys to their Christmas wish lists, three local kids added more than $2,000 worth of toys to theirs – donating all of them to children in need.
Brandon Jarvis, blogger of “Right Brained Mom” and her children, daughter Emma Boutin, 14, step-daughter Ella Stamp, 12, and son Sawyer Boutin, 11, raised more than $2,000 from selling handmade Christmas ornaments. They used the funds to buy toys for kids in their community.
“For a few years, the kids made craft kits and we sold those,” said Jarvis of her kids’ previous holiday initiatives.
Jarvis said that although the craft kits were successful, it was specific to people who had children, or people who enjoyed crafts. This year’s project, she said, appealed to a broader base of people.
Emma, Sawyer and Ella made the ornaments out of slices of birch bark and used a wood-etcher to inscribe “joy” on one side of the ornament, and “peace” on the other.
The kids’ Christmas Toy Drive operation was as organized as Santa’s workshop; Jarvis said that while she told the kids they’d have to do the work themselves, like making ornaments, buying supplies, and mailing out orders, they could use her platform to help sell the ornament.
“The very first day that we put these ornaments out for sale we reached $1,000,” she said. Jarvis said that the kids’ initial fundraising goal was $1,000, but then the orders kept on coming.
Jarvis credits the community for the project’s success. Pine Reflections, Rhubarb, Curry Motors, The Pump Shop, and Haliburton Timber Mart all made orders.
“It means a lot to me that these people see that the kids are trying to do something good. They appreciate it and are trying to support them for that reason,” she said.
After the money had been collected, Emma, Ella and Sawyer went shopping at V&S Department Store in Haliburton, where the store gave the kids a discount on the toys. Jarvis said Point in Time advised the kids on what toys to buy for different age groups, then distributed the toys to families in need around Haliburton County.
Jarvis said that while discussions revolving around kids in the Haliburton community can veer toward the negative, like bullying, it was refreshing to see the community’s reception to Emma, Ella and Sawyer’s Christmas Toy Drive.
“Anytime kids get out in the community and try and do something positive it should be celebrated,” said Jarvis. “It’s not just because it’s my kids, if it’s someone else’s kids, we should celebrate them as well.”
If you want to see more pictures from Emma, Ella and Sawyer’s trip to V&S Department Store, check out Jarvis’s blog at https://rightbrainedmom.com. Although the family’s Christmas Toy Drive has wrapped up for the holiday season, Jarvis said that any additional profits made from the kids’ ornaments will go to support the local food bank.