Two UBC students passionate about healthcare are dedicating their time to the YNOTFORTOTS Society, to help underprivileged children and schools in Metro Vancouver.
Mohit Sodhi and Lindsay Richter came up with the idea to start the charity after taking a class together at UBC, detailing the social determinants of health.
“We were astonished to find out that 1 in 5 children in BC were living in poverty. From the course we learned the great impact that child development has on future long term health outcomes,” Sodhi told Daily Hive in an email.
“With this information, in combination with government budget cuts to the public school system, we knew we needed to do something to ensure these local kids have access to all they need to play, learn, and grow.”
YNOTFORTOTS has a unique item registry system and donation structure that ensures all donated items go straight to the hands of those who need it most, the children.
Schools and parents are able to request items, such as art or cooking supplies, and home or classroom furnishings, then can be simply added to the online item registry.
Donors are then able to look through the registry and see which items are most requested or needed, and contact the organization to donate.
“This way, all donated items will be directly delivered to the individual who submitted the request and donors can see exactly where their donations go,” said Sodhi.
“So far we have collected and donated more than $22,000 worth of items to local underprivileged elementary schools since our inception in November 2015.”
“We really want people who may be hit hardest by government budget cuts and poverty to know that they are not alone … We want people to reach out to us and request items they may need for their schools or families.”
SuperYOU days aim to empower kids
For the first time this May and June, YNOTFORTOTS will be hosting SuperYOU Days aimed at empowering kids to be their “super selves.”
Underprivileged schools previously helped by the charity get to nominate around 100 highly-deserving students to attend special workshops each day at the school.
So far, Admiral Seymour Elementary will host a SuperYOU Day for the whole school–about 130 kids–on May 31, and John Henderson Elementary will host a SuperYOU Day for 100 of their kids on June 7.
YNOTFORTOTS is now looking for one more school to host a SuperYOU Day for 80-100 kids in mid June.
In an email, Richter said the full day workshops will provide a full day’s food for the kids and be “filled with fun, superhero-themed workshops focused on three key elements”:
- SuperACTIVE–active lifestyle, healthy eating, and physical education
- SuperARTSY–arts, expressivity, and creativity
- SuperME–self-esteem, anti-bullying, be-the-best-version-of-yourself
“YNOTFORTOTS is bringing SuperYOU Day into schools that we have helped with our donations thanks to our volunteers and sponsors,” said Richter.
“Every child we help through our charity is highly deserving, and we feel that when given the right tools, they can be super! YNOT be the SuperYOU?!”
For more information on the SuperYOU days, or to donate, check out ynotfortots.com