Greg O'Neill and Sleeping Children Around the World
Sleeping Children Around the World is a 100% charity that is near and dear to my heart. I have been traveling and distributing bed kits to children in developing countries with them since 2004. As you may know, SCAW was founded by Murray Dryden (of the famous Canadian Dryden family of hockey and political fame including Ken, Dave and Judy) in his early retirement years following a trip with his wife, Margaret, to India where he inadvertently tripped over a child who was sleeping on the street. The incident brought to his mind the plight of so many children in developing nations who do not have a warm and comfortable place to sleep each night and who also are most likely facing a bleak future with little hope for improving their lot. He decided there and then to do something about it. Before he left for home, he put together and distributed 50 bed kits in Pune, India and returned to Etobicoke to found Sleeping Children.
SCAW is a 100% charity as each penny of a $35 (CDN) goes towards the contents of a bed kit that consists of a mat or mattress, pillow, sheet, blanket, mosquito net (if applicable), clothes outfit, and school supplies. Bed kit contents vary from country to country depending upon local needs and individual items and materials may vary to reflect local customs and preferences. Most of the items contained in the bed kits are manufactured in the country of distribution thus providing local employment and keeping distribution costs to a minimum. SCAW is also highly dependent on local charitable organizations in the host countries (often Rotary and Inner Wheel Clubs) who carry the lion’s share of the actual distribution duties including tendering, reviewing and awarding supply contracts, distribution and storage. They also work with the local schools, churches and other organizations to identify and select the children in he targeted region of the country due for a distribution who are most in need of the bed kits. They also, unfailingly, do an amazing job of looking after the myriad needs of a group of traveling volunteers when said volunteers finally descend on them for the event from Canada. All administrative costs have been handled by a large endowment of over $3 million from Murray and Margaret plus their family home in Etobicoke which serves as the central command and office manned mostly by eager volunteers. In later years SCAW has had to look outside for funds to cover rising administrative costs and so the Pinehurst Club Breakfast was initiated just 5 years ago to enable SCAW to invite individuals and sponsors to contribute to the Legacy Fund which allows it to keep it a 100% charity. No fundraising costs are incurred in the running of SCAW or the Club Breakfast nor has any government help, funding or involvement ever been considered or contemplated.