MapleWishes – a unique Ottawa story of youth helping youth

MapleWishes – a unique Ottawa story of youth helping youth!

“We wanted “diversity” to be a priority … and we can not think of a community organization that better defines this priority.”  Avery & Rowan Parkinson, MapleWishes Foundation

OCISO is honoured to have received from the MapleWishes Foundation a $1000 donation to our 2018 Run for a New Start campaign, in support of OCISO youth programs (YOCISO).

This is a very special donation indeed, quite unlike any other that we have received, as MapleWishes was founded by two sisters, Avery and Rowan Parkinson, aged 13 and 11!

In 2015, moved by the toll that Parkinson’s Disease was taking on their grandfather, Rowan started “The Butterfly Project” and set out on a crusade of awareness-raising aimed at her elementary school peers. “The Butterfly Project” has since expanded to include community awareness-building campaigns and fund-raising initiatives in support of Parkinson’s Research.

In 2016, moved by the plight of the hungry and homeless in downtown Ottawa, Avery committed to making sandwiches for The Ottawa Mission. She soon convinced Rowan to add baked goods to the offerings and the food drop-offs have since become a regular part of their weekly plans.

In 2017, Avery and Rowan contacted OCISO after doing some online research:

“We wanted ‘diversity’ to be a priority amongst our ‘MapleWishes’ and we can not think of a community organization that better defines this priority.

“We were particularly touched by the ‘In My Own Voice’ video that we came upon during our research.”

MapleWishes was born of the intent to inspire one another to leave positive and enduring footprints in our wakes. It is a platform upon which 11 dedicated campaigns of service are to be planned, organized and shared over our middle and high school years. Eleven points of service and awareness – one for each of the 11 points perimetering the Maple Leaf – a concept inspired by the optimism of Canada 150.

Avery and Rowan visited the YOCISO drop in centre on Bank Street recently, where they were given a thank you gift of two Run for a New Start Tshirts by YOCISO Manager Christy Etienne.

They are eager to help out in other ways and have lots of great ideas that they’re exploring with the YOCISO team.

“As grandchildren of immigrants we are very appreciative of the graciousness and advantage afforded our family by Canada’s open arms. We wish that everyone choosing Canada as home could share this same legacy.”

Thank you Avery and Rowan (and your supportive parents Jane and Scott)!

Click here to learn more about MapleWishes Foundation