Happiness is truly a rallying cry these days. Whether it’s used to market products such as pop or is the central theme of top-selling books, we’re interested in it and want to know more about it. And so it’s also become the spark behind the latest campaign for Toronto’s SickKids Foundation, the not-for-profit fundraising arm of The Hospital for Sick Children.
Today, the hospital launches its Do The Happy campaign, a month-long event that features awareness- and fundraising events for the hospital including educational sessions on traumatic brain injuries and healthy weights for children, corporate fundraising sessions and the annual Meagan’s Walk in which over 5,000 people walk from Ontario Place up to the hospital. “There they form a human circle around the hospital calling attention to the importance of children’s health and giving hope and optimism to patients inside the hospital, who are seeing all of the folks who’ve walked up here,” notes Ted Garrard, president and CEO of the foundation.
Ultimately the event hopes to bring awareness to the fact that this generation of children is likely to be the first generation in modern history who could have shorter life spans than their parents because of issues such as childhood obesity or head injuries, which Garrard notes are now the leading cause of death and disability in children under the age of 14 in Canada. “We’re bringing attention to the fact that there is great promise in the future of health through things like stem cell research,” he adds.
So where does the connection to happiness fit in? “If a child is going to be healthy, then they’re going to be able to lead happy lives as well,” says Garrard. “So it’s connecting the issues of health and happiness. And for those of us who do have health and are happy as a result of it, let’s use the happiness movement to try and engage the public in the important issues around children’s health.”
Want to know more about today’s campaign? Visit dothehappy.com to learn about children’s health and happiness.
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