And now, there is the Spread Relief program. Last July, the CCOF board of directors announced a moratorium on the Childhood Cancer Campaign (CCC). The objective was to broaden that well-known and well-loved program in order to help more kids and their families across the country. An always growing number of clubs and members were asking for a way to help kids with a range of health issues. The autism spectrum is subject to increasing media scrutiny. Physical disabilities generate high treatment costs for a family. Every community has special needs and asking the Optimists for some help is often the first thing that comes in mind when in need of support. Unfortunately, we were not able to help the clubs in helping children with mental health problems, cystic fibrosis or heart diseases, for example, as much as we would have liked to.
The CCOF therefore has broadened its program to assist more children and families dealing with more diverse health issues. The mission will include projects focused on assisting children and families dealing with more mental and physical health issues, or promoting and raising awareness of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to inspire entire communities.
Starting on October 1st 2017, the Spread Relief program will:
- Develop a template for Clubs to use to identify and assess the needs in the community - available here: http://ccof-foec.org/spread-relief/
- Through a committee, select from all the project submissions, those that exemplify this program;
- Give seed money to the chosen projects, based on funds available and the Club’s needs;
- Share the projects on the Foundation’s platforms to promote the program’s success and inspire other Clubs.
The closer you are to a community, the more you know their needs. We therefore think Optimist members and Clubs are well placed to know how they could serve youth in their own community. Optimist members are well-known for their active work and we have committed to help them. The Canadian Children’s Optimist Foundation is ready to Spread Relief from coast to coast. Are you?