The YNOTFORTOTS Society hosted its first annual SuperYOU Days recently, to give underprivileged kids a full day filled with fun superhero-themed workshops.
More than 300 children attended at Admiral Seymour Elementary School, John Henderson Elementary School, and Florence Nightingale Elementary School.
The 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 was founded by two UBC students passionate about healthcare, Mohit Sodhi and Lindsay Richter, to collect donations for needy children.
As well as running SuperYOU Days, the Society has a unique item registry and donation structure, so schools can request items and the right items go to those who need them.
Richter told Daily Hive in an email that many of the students who participated in their SuperYOU Days live below the poverty line.
“[Others] are newcomers to Canada and would not have the opportunity to experience a day like SuperYOU Day without the help of our generous volunteers and donors,” 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!”
Through the SuperYOU Days, these children got the opportunity to get active and incorporate important aspects of teamwork, and explore and solidify the themes of SuperYOU through art, which allowed them to express their creativity.
Richter said that together the children created a collective canvas painting which they had individually painted.
It came together to create a meaningful art piece that the host school will get to display as the keepsake of the day, said Richter.
The children also created their own superhero emblem to take home.
Through the SuperME workshop, Richter explained that “students had the opportunity to work towards overcoming stereotypes, bolstering self-esteem, and fostering social responsibility.”
“This workshop focused on responsible decision making through the fun ‘Choose your own adventure activity’: ‘What would SuperYOU do?’ This included scenario discussion groups, a yarn circle, and a wellness guest speaker.”
After each workshop the kids filled out their “Today’s Takeaways” list of lessons learned and brave students shared their takeaways in front of everyone at the closing assembly.
Fellow co-founder Sodhi said their day “wrapped up with a very special surprise visit from two real superheros: Captain America and Spiderman! The kids were absolutely thrilled to meet their heroes!”
“The key lessons and takeaways of the day can be carried forward into the everyday life of these kids,” said Richter.
“The kids felt empowered and learned that they have the qualities within themselves to be heroes in everyday life.
“It is really important to dedicate time to support the youth as we have done through our SuperYOU Day Events, because if you take the time to educate and empower these young kids, children will learn.”
Richter shared a special picture of one takeaway which really stood out to her.
This child learned “to be nice, to be gentle, to be polite, to play nicely, to share, work as a team, work together, respect yourself, respect your sisters,” said Richter.
“My heart hurts with all the darkness in the world. This list of values may seem childish to some, but can you imagine how much brighter the world would be if we each were a little more kind or more respectful to ourselves and others?” said Richter.
“It just shows how this day really had a wonderful impact on the kids and more people can learn from those lessons.”
Richter credits the great success of the event to the hard work of the leadership team and volunteers.
SuperYOU Day cheer!
In the past year and a half, the YNOTFORTOTS Society has donated more than $45,000 worth of items to 10 different schools in the Lower Mainland, and now have expanded from Vancouver into Burnaby and Maple Ridge.
You can view all of the SuperYOU Day photos and find out how to donate on the YNOTFORTOTS website: ynotfortots.com