The Spruce Tree and The Eagle

Posted Thursday, October 21st, 2010. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

I attended the 5th mini Peace Tree Conference in York Region, which is a city within our larger city of Toronto, Canada, known as Greater Toronto Area.

I attended last year with my older son and this year with my younger one. It was set up differently and the host this year were two young adults (maybe 25 years old) representing Free The Children. They shared with the kids how they can make a difference, even by being nice to one another, walking away as the bystander to a bullying situation, so as not to foster or nurish the energy around this. The centre where the event was held, Safety Village, is run by the police of York Region and they work with all the York Region School boards.One of the seargents stated a fact that if a face-to-face bullying situation is happening, if all bystanders walk away, the bullying will stop witin 10 seconds.

Pretty interesting.

The police seargent shared another story which I want to relay to you. Why the Peace Tree is a Spruce Tree. The reason for this goes back to a folklore/story dating back the Aboriginals of generations past. An aboriginal boy was born and the mother believed that this child was meant to bring peace amongst all the Aboriginal tribes who lived along the waterways in one part of Canada (what is now known as Canada). When the child grew up, he dug up a Spruce Tree and pulled out its roots and in the big hole that was created, he threw all the weapons of the various tribes into this hole. He then buried and replanted the Spruce Tree- thus your “peace tree”. The Eagle part was interesting. In Aboriginal belief, the Eagle is the protector. Thus around the tree an eagle circled to make sure that no one dug up the weapons and thus continue the peace.

Is this just a story or can we make this a reality?? In the U.S., The Constitution states, people have the right to bear arms — what is interesting is when you really dive into the meaning of this – it was written at a time of war and that it was about being able to protect yourself. However in times of peace, do we really need these weapons? You have the NRA who has taken those words and literally brought their own meaning – every person has the right to carry a weapon to self-defend.

We do have a choice – peace or war?

What I really want to get to is — children making a difference. It has been stated by so many different people that peace will come through our children. However, in some cases some cycles need to be broken.

For me, I am working with my children and other families on our Kidz2Kidz fundraiser – this is the charity arm of 2bempowered . It is about making a difference one child to another. We ran one fundraiser in the spring – collecting gently used sports and leisure equipment. It was amazing. We collected over 60 boxes of stuff: hockey skates, sticks, skis, snowboards, soccer balls and equipment, baseball bases/bats,balls and equipment, and so on. We donated it Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Peel Region and Native Family and Child Services – services the aboriginals. It was amazing the impact we had. We were able to donate and help with the Native Camp Initiative.

I want to share some of the letter that was written by Michelle from Native Family and Child Services:

“The donation from Kidz2Kidz meant so much more that just the donation of sports equipment. Through their generosity our children, youth and families were able to learn first hand that one person does make a difference. Our young children learned that age does not matter when it comes from the heart and realized that they too can make changes and become empowered just as the children from Kids2Kids were .

The smile on children’s faces when they were given hockey equipment, bikes, scooters and so on was fantastic. It meant even more when you realized that the children were not the only ones receiving the gift. This gift was also given to the parents. The gift of the smile and the tears in the parents eyes will never be forgotten.

With the generous support of people like Sandra Finklestien and Kidz2Kidz we will be able to ensure that the children/youth and families that we serve are able to have a better year.

With gratitude and deep respect we say Chii Miigwetch for your support of our Aboriginal Community.”

My children and the other children want to expand our reach and make an even bigger impact. We have currently been approved as an idea vying for money from the Aviva Commuity Fund – to grant us anywhere between $25,000-$100,000. Aviva Insurance is giving away $1,000,000 to 6 different groups/organizations that are making a difference in their community.

You win by Votes – we are in the second round starting Monday, Oct. 25th – WE WANT 3000 VOTES. We will love your support. Please link: kidz2kidz-Aviva Fund Idea

We are doing our second fundraising event and we have expanded already (listening to the needs of the Native Family and Child Services) to include art supplies and musical instruments.

This is my passion and my work. My vision is to make Kidz2Kidz a foundation that is supported by Wealthy Canadians that want to make a difference with our youth. The money will be put into a fund that will be invested so that it becomes self-sustaining. I want the majoirty -85% hopefully (recognizing their are costs to run a foundation) to go into Youth Related Programs that inspire, motivate, encourage and empower our youth to speak their truth, challenge status quo, create entrepreneurialship, and leadership in our country and countries around the world.

It starts with baby steps and one child with one idea of making a difference.

Inspire and encourage your children to do something: be nice, give someone a needed hug, do a cookie drive, or find something they love to share with others and then make a difference.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone.

All my love,

Sandra

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