By Dan Walton
With the high costs of sporting goods, many Canadian children are not afforded the opportunity to participate in sports. In a strong effort to offer underprivileged children adequate needs for any sporting activity, Canadian Tire hosts Jumpstart each year, a charitable program that offsets the high costs of sports and recreation for those who need it most.
Because the Invermere Canadian Tire was brand new at this time last year, 2013 will be the first year Jumpstart is celebrated in the valley. The event takes place nationwide this Saturday, May 25th.
While many charities that operate from a national level consume a portion of the donations for administration, the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program delivers over 100 per cent of customer donation to deserving local children.
Its a very grassroots program, said Invermere Canadian Tire owner Craig Knapp. The intention is that any monies raised here stay here in the community, and then those funds are topped up with additional support from the foundation in Toronto.
A Red Ball Fundraiser has been ongoing throughout Canada, whereby Canadian Tire locations have been selling $2 red sports balls, a popular aspect of the program that will continue after the Jumpstart event.
We also have donation boxes in the store where people give their change and Canadian Tire money, and that money stays local as well, said Mr. Knapp.
All locally-raised money will support individual children, rather than a sporting league or organization.
The child can do anything. He or she could be a hiker, play soccer, be a skier, kayaker it doesnt matter, as long as its an active sport, Mr. Knapp said, as long as its supporting physical activity. Its a very flexible program, and thats the purpose of it: its really trying to break down any barriers that an individual child might have to be able to participate in sport its an awesome program.
More than half a million Canadian children have benefited from the Canadian Tire Jumpstart program. During Jumpstart Day, every Canadian Tire will fill the day with fun stuff, food and raffles to support fundraising efforts.
Fundraising efforts will be made in Invermere on Jumpstart Day, as Mr. Knapp strongly believes in the mission of the program. He emphasized the slogan, Giving kids a sporting chance, before explaining that it enables kids who might be financially challenged to be able to participate in sports.
Canadian Tire Jumpstart covers every Canadian Tire community in Canada, except Quebec, where Canadian Tire locations celebrate a similar program.