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Tim Hortons Camp Day Returns For 30th Anniversary

Wednesday July 21st, 2021, 2:40pm


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Impacted by Covid-19 last year, Tim Hortons Camp Day is back for an important milestone.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the restaurant chain’s fundraising event has returned. Taking place at all Tim Hortons locations today, 100-per-cent of hot and cold coffee, bracelet sales and donations are going towards sending youth ages 12-16 to one of seven camps across North America.

It’s the most important day of fundraising for Tim Hortons Foundation Camps.

“Oh it’s so important,” said Tim Hortons supervisor Emma O’Brien. “We started about an hour ago and we’ve made over $100 outside alone. And in the whole month of us selling camp bracelets and stuff we made over $1000. And having people there, we’ve had kids that went to camp come by and they’re super excited to donate because they’ve gone for years too. So it’s really cool to have people come and talk about it too.”

Supporting youth from disadvantaged circumstances, camps aren’t simply a vacation. Having a strength-based learning model, each facility focuses on developing leadership, resilience and responsibility skills. In the end, the goal is to give those attending the tools to create future opportunities for themselves.

At one of many locations across Windsor, the 3136 Jefferson Boulevard store was doing everything they could to raise money. Beyond coffee and bracelet sales, volunteers were washing car windows, selling cotton candy, popcorn, lollipops, freeze pops and shirts along with punch prizes and paper tents. Despite COVID-19 restrictions, employees and volunteers were glad to do more again.

Being able to support youth is something O’Brien has also seen customers waiting for.

“We’ve had people asking for weeks if we were going to have camp day because we weren’t able to do it last year,” she said. “So it’s important for the public who want to help out, but also we’ve already been raising more money than we were last year. And it’s so important to have this person to person contact, kinda like a step toward normalcy too. So we’ve had so many more people come and they talk, telling about camp and going themselves. It’s awesome.”

Having the community come together is important for other reasons as well.

“If I was a kid and I saw people celebrating camp day and decorating and selling stuff to try and raise money, I would … I don’t even know how I would describe it,” said the supervisor. “I would feel excited that there’s all these people trying to support me in a time when maybe I wouldn’t be able to go. There’s people buying candy. There’s people buying shirts. People just donating so I have the opportunity to grow as a person. I think that’s awesome.”

Since beginning 30-years-ago, Camp Day has raised over $212 million and helped send over 300,000 youths to camp. This also includes a new digital component that was launched last year.

Recognizing youths from their camps would be disproportionately isolated by the pandemic, the foundation created Tims eCamp in response. Designed to support them virtually, the camp-inspired digital experience gave participants a taste of the real thing.

Continuing this year with a new and improved version, all involved will benefit.

“The leadership skills,” said O’Brien. “The confidence. the friendships. Even with it being online, there’s so much you can do and reach these kids that wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to do it. Honestly, I think it’s going to be life-changing for a lot of kids.”

For those who don’t drink coffee or need bracelets, orders can be rounded up with the difference given to Camp Day. One time or monthly donations can also be made online.

Accumulating over 30 years, every little bit makes a big difference.

“That’s 30 years worth of kids that have been sent to camp and friendships and built up relationships and built up skills they wouldn’t have otherwise,” said O’Brien. “It’s an entire generation that have been sent to camp for 30 years. It’s pretty awesome.”

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