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Members of the Schulich Charity Association bring FUNday to children with complex disabilities

The Schulich Charity Association (SCA) and MukiBaum Treatment Centres hosted the 3rd Annual SCA-MukiBaum FUNday at MukiBaum’s York Region Children’s Day Program on October 26. Twenty-one undergraduate business students from the student-run club at the Schulich School of Business volunteered with MukiBaum for the day, hosting a variety of activities for children with complex disabilities.

“Participating in FUNday is a really rewarding experience,” said Michael Goldfarb (BBA Candidate ’13), Director of Finance for the SCA. “When you make the effort to spend time with these children, you realize that despite the disabilities life gave them, they are just kids who want to have fun and we were able to give them an opportunity to take a half-day off school and have a great time!”

Activities for the students were designed with assistance from the dedicated staff at MukiBaum to best help the children they serve. The students participated in activities involving edible sensory (playing with food), arts and crafts, an obstacle course, board games and music.

“The edible sensory activity was basically an excuse for the students to play with their food,” explained Michael. “It was a few days prior to Halloween so we filled different containers with shaving cream, spaghetti and chocolate pudding with gummy worms inside. This gave the kids the opportunity to touch and guess what the ‘spooky’ Halloween-themed substances were.”

“Volunteers with many wonderful talents came out and all contributed in each of these activities…We would like to express our sincere appreciation and thanks to the SCA for their continued support and dedication to making a difference in the lives of children and adults with complex disabilities,” said MukiBaum in a statement on their website.

The FUNday event originally started as part of a fundraiser that the SCA was doing for MukiBaum in 2010. “We came to volunteer at the school to meet the children that we were raising money for and it was a big hit,” said Michael. “We knew immediately that this was going to be an annual event.”

Since then, the SCA has developed a strong partnership with MukiBaum. Over the past two years, the club has raised $9,235 for MukiBaum through FUNdays and the SCA’s Annual Fashion Show. SCA members are regular volunteers at the Muki Baum Foundation’s Community Outreach Program and have provided help at MukiBaum’s Possible Dream Gala for the past few years.

“I think it’s really important that SCA members get a chance to come out to the MukiBaum school and see what they do,” said Michael. “Financially, MukiBaum needs resources to expand their programming and as a non-profit, donations will always help them. However, the organization also benefits from time people take to come out and visit the children. They love the opportunity to engage with volunteers and take part in activities with them.

“In addition to our fundraising, the SCA also gets the chance to experience firsthand the difference MukiBaum makes in the lives of the adults and children they serve. Although life has given them disabilities, that shouldn’t define who they are. By spending time at MukiBaum, you see the joy and happiness these children experience when they sing, play in the gym, make arts and crafts – just like any other kid.”

The SCA supports many different organizations and causes. Each year they donate the proceeds from their annual Charity Fashion Show to a different cause. This year, they are raising money for UNITY Charity, a non-profit organization that engages and empowers youth to be role models and leaders in their communities. Each month, they host a volunteer day and, in October, SCA members raised $8,395 for the CIBC Run for the Cure, which donates all proceeds towards Breast Cancer Research. The SCA also contributes annually to the Daily Bread Food Bank – not only collecting and donating food, but also at the warehouse sorting and packing thousands of pounds of food.

“The SCA is much different than other Schulich clubs,” said Michael. “There are numerous volunteer and fundraising opportunities within the community and we try to work with a different cause every month. If a member has a cause they want to support, we want to hear about it. Every year we raise thousands of dollars and we are always looking for great causes to support and new organizations to donate our time to.”

The next Fashion Show will be on Jan. 24, 2013 at the Underground. It will raise money for UNITY Charity. For more information, visit www.MukiBaum.com, the Schulich Charity Association and UNITY Charity.

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