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If you were part of a community — perhaps a business, perhaps raising a family, perhaps both — and you discovered that children in your local schools were going to school every day without breakfast, or warm clothing in the winter, would you want to help? Of course you would.

Well, for many children in Metro Vancouver inner-city schools, the unthinkable is reality, and The Vancouver Sun wants to change that.

The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund, the Sun’s charity, recently launched an Adopt-a-School project and in a series of daily stories now through Christmas it is telling the compelling, often humbling stories of these schools, and of the children who need help.

The project had its start with a story by The Sun’s education writer Janet Steffenhagen who wrote about a heart-felt plea from a teacher at an inner-city school in Vancouver.

“From where I sit every day, things are not okay,” Carrie Gelson wrote in a letter she addressed simply to the people of Vancouver.

“I can teach these children. Love them. Advocate for them. Stock my room with great books. Give away parts of my lunch.

“I can build community partnerships. I can build relationships with families. I can watch others around me doing the same thing. But until I know you are helping, too, it will remain not good enough.”

The story struck a chord in the community and offers of help poured in. The Sun realized that people want to help those in need in the their own communities and so the idea of Adopt-a-School was born.

“The story produced an outpouring of support from you, our readers. So we hope to harness your generosity and help kids in other inner-city schools,” Kevin Bent, president and publisher of the Pacific Newspaper Group and chairman of The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund said in a letter to readers. “Every dollar raised from you will be matched by the Children’s Fund.

“As you begin preparations to celebrate the holiday season that is upon us, we hope you will find a way to help us bring a little warmth and joy to these children and set them on the road to a fulfilling and productive life.”

The Sun kicked off Adopt-a-School on November 12 and stories are running daily in the paper and online chronicling the needs of kids and of the businesses and individuals that are stepping forward to help them.

The money being raised goes a long way. All administration costs for The Children’s Fund are absorbed by the newspaper so every dollar donated goes to help kids.

And this year, The Children’s Fund is matching dollar-for-dollar every donation made to the Adopt-a-School program. So for every dollar you donate, double that goes to help kids in need.

We encourage you to take action, because a little goes a long way. We can all make a difference!

Want to help brighten the lives of some of Greater Vancouver’s neediest children?

Here’s how you can:

“Like” The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund on Facebook.

Go to vansunkidsfund on Facebook and hit the like button. For every like Telus donates $1 to Adopt-a-School and The Children’s Fund matches that. So every like = a $2 donation.

Check out the Children’s Fund web site at vansunkidsfund.ca for more ways to donate and learn about the needs of children in inner-city schools.

Adopt-a-School Donations of New Items

The Adopt-a-School project is aimed at collecting financial donations as well as providing a conduit so readers can immediately donate goods such as coats and shoes and gloves directly to those schools and students that need them most.  For information on how to donate new items, contact Adopt-a-School at adoptaschool@vancouversun.com or call Adopt-a-School coordinator Kathy Anderson at 604-605-2654.

Find the Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund:

On Twitter: @vansunkidsfund

On Facebook: facebook.com/vansunkidsfund

On Flickr: flickr.com/vansunkidsfund

On YouTube: youtube.com/vansunkidsfund