One Small Swing for School, One Giant Leap for Inclusion
For one Surrey school, a new swing meant a multitude of new possibilities, and it could not have been accomplished without the heart-warming efforts of three young children.
13-year-old Channee Sekhon felt bad watching some of her friends she grew up with, who were not able to use the playground at recess and lunch due to their physical disabilities. It didn’t sit right with her that other students at Green Timbers Elementary couldn’t enjoy the same experiences as her.
So when Channee and her two siblings, Ladee and Kabir, heard about their school’s goal to build playground equipment that children with disabilities could use, they knew they wanted to find a way to help.
The Sekhon siblings discovered that two years of fundraising efforts had only raised $7,000 towards the $18,000 needed to build the inclusive equipment. Not letting this discourage them, they put on their thinking caps.
Channee and her siblings began brainstorming ways they could help raise funds to contribute to the project. They turned to their father, Gurjinder Sekhon, who is a franchise owner of a Sussex Insurance office located in Vancouver.
With his advice and support, the trio created a slide deck and speech about the importance of inclusion, which they presented to all of the Franchise Owners at the Sussex Insurance’s Franchise Retreat held in May of 2016.The result was incredible. The Franchise Owners rallied together and donated over $5000 dollars and then Ken Armstrong, owner of Sussex Insurance stepped up and matched their donation dollar- for- dollar and the goal of $11,000 dollars was met in about two-minutes.
Gurjinder was left feeling extremely proud both, of the efforts and hard work of his children, as well as the generosity of both the Company and his fellow Franchise Owners.
“We believe in giving back to the community in our business, that is our philosophy,” Gurjinder said. With the added donations, Green Timbers was now able to buy and install the invaluable piece of playground equipment to the delight of school staff and students. Next, they wish to take on the project of building the district’s first-ever outdoor classroom. Although, at an estimated $140,000, that might be a couple years down the road.