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ChildrenHub Staff

Plan Canada's Gift of Hope party will be held at St. Paul's Anglican Church Community Hall in Southampton on Sunday, September 20 from 2pm to 4pm.

This is the second year for the event with last's years event raising over $44,000. Monies raised go to support the most vulnerable children and families around the world.

Gifts of Hope is an initiative of Plan Canada, one of the oldest and largest development agencies, working in partnership with people around the world to end global poverty. It is a not-for-profit organization that is independent of all faiths and cultures with one agenda - to improve the lives of children.

The party will include food and musical entertainment from local musicians Kim Lake and John Stewart and those in attendance will be able to peruse the Gifts of Hope catalogue, through which they can purchase one of the many, sometimes life-saving gifts to help a child or family in need. There are a variety of gifts to meet everyone's budget.

Southampton residents and event organizers, Maureen Simpson and Karen Lyons wanted to stress that although the event is being held at a church it is a community party and is non-denominational.

“We like it because it was non-denominational, not-for-profit and it's to improve children's lives,” said Lyons. “It's a charity we really support because it can't offend anybody. It's helping the poorest of the poor.”

Lyons continued, “It's a way to say that we can actually change this world one kid at a time and it can be fun doing it. For me there's no better way to spend money knowing that $50 actually changed a life or $10 saves a life.”

Plan Canada has a high match ratio to the dollars they receive. Donations are matched by other organizations such as banks and foundations. “I have never seen an organization get the matches they do. For $100 it turns into $1100, they have a 10-1 match, a 7-1 match. So that's why when we say we raised $44,000 we actually raised $9,000 which translated by the gifts people chose into $44,000 of gifts.”

Examples of gifts that can be donated include a bed net, which if donated for $10 is then matched for $70. Or school essentials for a child for $17, which is then matched for $153. Other gifts include sending a girl to school, food baskets, clean water for families and many other life changing and life saving gifts.

For further information on Plan Canada visit their website.Maureen Simpson Susan Closs Karen LyonsEntertainment