Congratulations to Faith Dickinson of Cuddles for Cancer for winning “Citizen of the Year” at the Kawartha Chamber of Commerce & Tourism’s 15th Annual Awards of Excellence on Saturday, November 15.
Faith created Cuddles for Cancer when she was just nine years old. After hearing that cancer patients often got cold during their treatments, Faith came up with the idea of making fleece blankets to bring patients warmth, comfort, and love.
Since then, she has raised well over $15,000 to help her make hundreds of her “Cuddle” blankets — which have been sent all across Canada and the U.S. as well as France, England and Australia. All of the donated funds go towards buying more fleece, so Faith can make more blankets.
Faith also created a signature soldiers’ blanket for her “Sponsor a Soldier” campaign for soldiers overseas and those suffering from injuries or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many of these blankets have been sent to Afghanistan and Kuwait.
Last year, she launched a campaign called “Kids at Christmas” asking the community to sponsor a child to ensure every child admitted to her local hospital is given a cuddle blanket on Christmas Eve. In 2013, Faith also delivered 26 “cuddle” blankets to Toronto Sick Kids Hospital.
On January 15th of this year, Faith was awarded the Ontario Junior Citizen Award. In September, Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro rose in the House of Commons to make a statement honouring Faith’s efforts to make a difference.
At the Awards of Excellence event on Saturday, Faith donated a blanket to the live auction and it raised $1,000 (kudos to lucky bidders Deb and Joe Lineberry from Paris Marine). Carrie Dickinson, Faith’s mom, tells kawarthaNOW that this particular blanket may have been extra special.
“We’re just realizing this morning that it may be her 1000th cuddle blanket,” Carrie says. “We knew we were close to it — and there’s just no way to know for sure — but it’s got to be very close. She was at 950 blankets just after Remembrance Day.”
And yes, Faith is only 12 years old. It’s no wonder that she received two standing ovations at the Awards of Excellence event. During the event, Kim MacPherson Holmes (of Magic 96.7 The Star and The Breeze) donated a generous $100 to Cuddles for Cancer and challenged others to participate. By the end of the evening, Cuddles for Cancer had enough donations to make another 50 blankets.
The judging panel found Faith’s story to be extremely inspiring and heartwarming. They not only applauded her effort help those in need, but also her ambition to encourage other young people to get involved and make a difference for their own cause.
Cuddles for Cancer has forged numerous partnerships with local businesses, educational institutions and not-for-profit organizations to further the effort. Over 250 people have been involved to help the organization meet its goals, and many of of these volunteers help with fundraising to cover the cost of the blanket material.
Faith is currently working on a book to inspire kids to follow their dreams and a calendar recognizing some of her very supportive young volunteers.
Join us in congratulating Faith and spread the good news about Cuddles for Cancer. You can find Cuddles for Cancer on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CuddlesForCancer/ and on Twitter at @Cuddles_4Cancer.