Kid2Kid raises $17,000 for families in need at recent Kids Marketplace in the Beach

Youth vendors sell their products at the Kids Marketplace at the Beaches Recreation Centre on Saturday, June 1. Photo by Jasmine Wang.

By COLE HAYES

Beachers gave back to the community on Saturday, June 1, as Kid2Kid held its second annual Kids Marketplace at the Beaches Recreation Centre.

The marketplace was held in support of the Red Door Family Shelter to provide back to school supplies to kids ahead of the next school year.

“We are very much looking forward to working with the Red Door Family Shelter to provide back to school supplies based upon their needs. Kid2Kid gives back to other local causes as well to benefit children directly,” said Caroline Thomson, one of the organizers of the marketplace.

The Kids Marketplace serves as Kid2Kid’s primary fundraiser and Thomson, along with fellow organizer Shah Ruby, viewed the 2024 edition of the event as another success for the organization.

The event saw overwhelming interest this year and the organization plans to continue with the Kids Marketplace as an annual event.

“We are excited to announce that due to the overwhelming interest in our Kid’s Marketplace, this event will now be held annually. This serves as our primary fundraiser, with proceeds directly supporting our bi-annual Got Your Back initiative. In the summer, we purchase backpacks and school supplies, and in the winter, we provide essential winter items. Youth volunteers play a crucial role by packing these supplies, which we then deliver to the Red Door Family Shelter, benefiting children there,” said Ruby.

Kids packed the gym at Beaches Recreation Centre last Saturday, playing the role of vendors selling a variety of snacks and crafts with 50 per cent of the proceeds being donated in support of the Red Door Family Shelter and the other half being kept for the vendors themselves.

“Seeing the kids work hard and have such a great attitude towards the cause really confirms that the message is getting across. The enthusiasm and positive energy felt at the marketplace is evidence that all actions small or big have an impact,” said Thomson. “This past weekend, our community came together with compassion to help children in need. We are proud to have provided this opportunity to take action together, with people of all ages.”

After eight weeks of planning, Kid2Kid saw their vision of the Kids Marketplace pay off.

“From reaching out to sponsors, approving youth vendors, promoting on our social media channels and website, to endless administrative tasks. We were incredibly fortunate to have Michelle (Easton), the owner of Easton Creative Communications, join us as our publicist this year. Thanks to her expertise, we secured numerous promotional opportunities, including a segment on Breakfast Television and an interview with Ben Mulroney,” said Ruby.

With another Kids Marketplace set for 2025, Kid2Kid has many takeaways from last weekend.

“Next year, we plan to have an MC, Frank Domagala and his band host the event. We’ll also bring back Fearless Meat to serve food, ensuring they’re prominently placed so guests can enjoy the BBQ,” said Ruby.

The organizers also plan on having a square reader (to accept electronic payments) next year in order to make vendors’ products more accessible to those attending the marketplace.

Kid2Kid went into the event with the goal of raising $12,000 between the marketplace and other donors.

“Thanks to our amazing community, generous donors and kid entrepreneurs, the marketplace raised an estimated $17,000 this year which surpassed our goal of $12,000,” said Thomson. “Kid2Kid gives back to other local causes as well to benefit children directly.”

As the organization has continued to grow since 2019, Kid2Kid expects to see continued growth and expansion. “We envision expanding Kid2Kid into classrooms across Canada. This initiative would enable hundreds of thousands of students to pack backpacks and engage in meaningful discussions about homelessness and the lack of basic necessities,” said Ruby.

For more information on the Kid2Kid, please visit https://www.kid2kid.ca/general-8

 


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