Caring girls raise cash for patients
A visit to drop off a cake with her mom at Cancercare turned an 11-year-old girl into a humanitarian and a businesswoman making just under R6,000 in five days.
“Care Bears” on the front desk of the oncology unit in Langenhoven Drive captured the heart of Kate Rodgers, who asked what they were and why they were being sold.
The Care Bear project began in March 2017 to support the CancerAssist Trust Fund for patients in financial need.
Kate then asked her mom, Kathy Rodgers, for permission to approach her school, Collegiate Junior School for Girls, to sell the bears on behalf of CancerAssist.
The determined youngster and her best friend, Jennifer Friskin, 11, who is also a pupil at the school, set up an appointment with headmistress Gill Robinson to ask for permission to sell the bears during the school’s second break.
To date the pair have sold just under 600 Care Bears, making R6,000 over five days at the school.
Robinson said the pair being so informed about cancer and the desire to help others had done all the convincing.
They came to her office to see her because they had a plan.
“They came well prepared. They had a flyer about the cancer Care Bear project, they had a sample of the Care Bear and they had a plan of wanting to sell Care Bears.
“Out of their initiative they organised extra stock. They said they would be involved in the management process and sold an excess of about 580 Care Bears without any assistance, just straight from the heart.
“You know what, they had just done their homework [and had] enthusiasm and passion when they came to [ask if ], they [could ] do it. There was no other answer but ‘yes’.
“As a school we are exceptionally proud of the initiative because they wanted to make a difference,” she added.
The giddy schoolgirls could not hide their excitement as they explained what each bear’s colour meant.
The brown bears all have different coloured hearts on them to represent different forms of cancer.
Kate said she approached the school with only 20 Care Bears between her and Friskin and ended the week having sold just under 600.
“We started selling on Monday and sold all 20 bears. On Tuesday we stood at Wendy’s [a school foyer], where we sold 200 bears in total.
“We then had to get more bears, and then we sold [another] large batch and by the end of the week we had sold 575 Care Bears,” Kate said.
Asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, Kate said she still felt undecided but she would work in an environment where she helped people.
She said the project made her feel proud.
“I am happy that I am helping other people who can’t afford their medicines.”
Friskin said it felt good to be helping people with sicknesses because it meant that they would be better.
The pair plan to sell Care Bears again next year and ex- pand their business to families of the school.
Marian Lourens from CancerCare said she was extremely grateful for the donation.
“The money will go to the financially needy cancer patients in the metro. We are happy and proud she [did] this for us.”
HEARTFELT: Collegiate primary school pupils Jennifer Friskin and Kate Rodgers with some of the Care Bears