Working tirelessly to educate young women in Afghanistan, BC teen Alaina
Podmorow stands out from inspiring group of teen philanthropists
TORONTO, Jan. 31, 2012 /CNW/ - Alaina Podmorow, only 14 years old, is a
teen who wants to change the world, and she has taken one more step in
that direction by donating $5,000 to a registered charity after being
named "Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist" in Mackenzie Investments'
fourth annual national search.
As Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist of 2011, Alaina receives a $5,000
donation, directed in her name, to Little Women for Little Women in
Afghanistan. She also personally receives $2,500. The five runners-up
will also be rewarded with a $500 donation to the charity of their
choice, as well as $500 cash.
"We were once again overwhelmed with the impressive charitable work
being done by students across Canada" says Brad Offman, Vice President,
Strategic Philanthropy, Mackenzie Investments. "This contest is a great
way to recognize this important work and to encourage these
philanthropic teens to continue giving back."
Background on teen winner/charity
For more than five years, Alaina has worked on her grassroots charity,
Little Women for Little Women in Afghanistan, which supports the
education of women and girls in Afghanistan. The charity raises money
to pay for teachers' salaries, train teachers and provide libraries for
rural villages. Alaina believes education is the stepping stone towards
peace and has donated more than 2,000 hours to her cause. Her efforts
to date have raised more than $350,000.
Canada's teen philanthropists are changing the world
According to a poll done in support of the fourth annual search for
Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist, the majority of teen respondents are
involved in charitable giving. 79 per cent donate to at least one
charitable cause and spend at least one hour per month volunteering. In
fact, while many teens are on a budget, it was found that 42 per cent
of respondents donate 20 dollars per year or more.
While the teens polled seem quite active in terms of charitable giving,
they believe that Canadians should be doing more in terms of charitable
work. Over half (51 per cent) believe that Canadians do not give enough
to charitable causes.
When it came to the respondents' outlook on the future, 61 per cent
believe that social problems will be more prevalent in 50 years. This
number is up 12 per cent from 2010 polling.
Interestingly, many teens are also incorporating digital tools and
social media into their charitable pursuits. 72 per cent of teen
respondents have participated in a charity's online activities and 60
per cent have joined an organization's Facebook page.
For an infographic of these poll results, please click here.
Finding Canada's Top Teen Philanthropist
Candidates were judged on a number of factors, including: the breadth of
their volunteering and fundraising efforts, their leadership and
creativity, their hands-on involvement in their philanthropic pursuits,
the length and level of their involvement and the impact on their
community and their charity.
Mackenzie also recognized the fine efforts of five additional teens with
$500 each to be directed to the charity of their choice, as well as
Perri Tutelman, 18, Richmond, BC: Perri is the founder of Cures for Kids Foundation, a registered charity dedicated to raising funds and awareness for
children's immunological disorders. More than $100,000 dollars has been
raised through Perri's efforts which were supported by the foundation's
signature fundraising event, the "Making Magic Show".
Achan Akwai Chaam, 18, Ottawa, ON: Achan has stopped keeping track of the amount of hours he volunteers for
his local Boys and Girls club because they helped him so much and in
his words, "they deserve my time". A new Canadian who was born in
Sudan, he found solace in the club that offered a place to learn and
grow. He is now an active volunteer, member and Junior Youth worker
with the organization.
Laura Wallace, 19, Devon, AB: Volunteering for her sister's charity, the Olive Tree Foundation, Laura
lived for a year in Haiti where she helped the organization with its
work serving the women and children of Jacmel, Haiti, by providing
maternity care at a fully functioning birthing centre. Before she
travelled there, Laura also helped fundraise for this worthy cause.
Peter Gatti, 17, Toronto, ON: As a leukemia survivor, Peter supports the charity Tour for Kids
Atlantic - an organization that raises money to support camps for
childhood cancer patients through cycling events such as rides across
Canada, weekend provincial rides and in-school stationary bike rides.
These camps are free, and fully medically staffed and are often the
only camps that cancer patients can attend. Along with volunteering,
Peter also completed a 2000 kilometer bike ride from Vancouver to
Austin, Texas to help raise money for this cause.
Leena Bourne, 17, Petrolia, ON: Creator of Love Beads for Leukemia, Leena developed this fundraising
program to help her cope with the stress of having a father diagnosed
with the disease. Her main goal of making the beaded bracelets is to
spread hope, and with more than $30,000 raised going directly towards
Cancer Research, and to children's cancer programs at the London
Regional Cancer Clinic, she is doing just that.
Along with Jane Wu (2008 winner), a panel of high profile individuals
selected this year's winner and finalists. They included: Craig
Keilberger, founder of Free The Children; Danielle Bedasse, Executive
Director, Jays Care Foundation; Carlos Bustamante, Host, YTV's The
Zone; and Brad Offman, Vice President, Strategic Philanthropy,
For more information about the search and finalists, go to www.mackenziefinancial.com/teen.
About the survey:
The Mackenzie survey results are based on a Student awards national
online survey conducted from November 21st to November 29th 2011. The
final sample consisted of 265 respondents, between the ages of 13 and
19. The average length of the survey was estimated at 5 minutes.
More information on charitable giving and the Mackenzie Charitable
Giving Fund, which allows you to leave a legacy of giving, can be found
Mackenzie Investments: Mackenzie Investments was founded in 1967, and is a leading investment
management firm providing investment advisory and related services.
With $61.6 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2011,
Mackenzie Investments distributes its investment services through
multiple distribution channels to both retail and institutional
investors. Mackenzie Investments is a member of the IGM Financial Inc.
(TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM Financial is one of Canada's premier
financial services companies with over $118 billion in total assets
under management as of December 31, 2011.
SOURCE Mackenzie Investments
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