Eli Kearley enjoys giving back to his community.
For three years, the 10-year-old has been growing pumpkins on his grandparents’ acreage and donating the money he raised to the Saskatoon Crisis Nursery; a non-profit, community-based organization that provides crisis intervention to anyone in the city experiencing distress and needing immediate help.
He first heard about the Crisis Nursery while walking past it with his mom on the way to the playground one day. After learning more about what they do, he knew right away he wanted to help.
“I realized that a lot of kids are not as fortunate as I was,” Kearley said. “I wanted to do something.”
In his first year of pumpkin sales, the young philanthropist raised about $800. Year two, he netted just over $1,700.
“This time I raised over $2,300,” he said, noting he couldn’t have done any of it without a team of help, including his grandparents.
His desire to help the Crisis Nursery started even prior to the pumpkins. For about 4 years, in lieu of birthday gifts, he requested used books that could be donated to the organization.
His generous spirit caught the eye of a local Tim Hortons owner. Inspired by his fundraising efforts, they donated $10,000 on his behalf to the Crisis Nursery.
“That’s a substantial amount of money towards our budget,” Dionne Miazdyck-Shield, executive director of the Saskatoon Society for the Protection of Children, said. “We have to fundraise $300,000 a year to keep our doors open.”
Miazdyck-Shield said that amounts to about 30 per cent of their budget.
“That’s a lot of money and most of it comes from small fundraisers like Eli’s,” she said. “The fact that he was thinking really deeply about other kids in crisis at that age and still at this age, 10, I’m just so proud of him.”
In total, a donation of $17,370 was made to the Saskatoon Crisis Nursery.
As for Kearley, he’s happy to not only raise money for a worthy organization, but awareness as well.