Kids across Canada break the 'piggy' bank in the spirit of giving

TD's annual fundraising campaign for Children's Miracle Network asks Canadians to make charitable giving ongoing

TORONTO, Dec. 1 /CNW/ - Children will be breaking the bank - the piggy bank that is - at TD Canada Trust branches across the country this week, to show Canadians of all ages the value of giving and to launch this year's annual fundraising campaign for Children's Miracle Network.

TD's annual campaign supports local Children's Miracle Network member hospital foundations, and by simply registering for automated monthly donations to support children's health in local areas, it makes giving even easier. All funds raised go directly to the local Children's Miracle Network member hospitals for the purchase of life-saving equipment, patient services, and medical research.

"TD has been a strong supporter of children's hospitals in Canada for many years and this holiday season we're encouraging children to get into the giving habit early," says Tim Hockey, President and CEO, TD Canada Trust and TD's Children's Health Champion. "With its focus on giving, the holidays are the perfect time to remind parents to lead by example, and TD is proud to be doing the same by matching every dollar donated in this year's Children's Miracle Network campaign up to $1 million."

TD personal finance expert Patricia Lovett-Reid agrees that teaching kids about charitable donations is a key part of family money management. "Encouraging children to set aside money regularly to help families less fortunate is a valuable life lesson," says Lovett-Reid. "Not only does it help children embrace the spirit of giving, it teaches them the importance of managing their money for what matters most."

Getting into the Giving Habit

TD offers the following simple tips for getting your family into a regular habit of giving:

    
    -   Plan donations in advance as part of regular expenditures rather than
        waiting to use left-over discretionary funds. Setting up regular
        donation withdrawals from a bank account ensures this;
    -   Keep a dedicated folder to hold all donation receipts so you can take
        advantage of the tax benefits come tax time;
    -   Encourage children to set aside a portion of their allowance to go to
        charity;
    -   Keep a family loose change jar where everyone can deposit loonies and
        toonies from their spare change. You'll be amazed at how quickly it
        can add up. Deposit the proceeds into a donation account;
    -   Involve children in the decision about which charitable causes to
        support;
    -   When shopping with children engage them in understanding what
        different items cost and how choices have to be made in order to stay
        within a budget;
    -   If children are writing a wish list of desired gifts ask them to also
        write a "give list."
    

"The holiday season reminds us to rethink overspending on gifts and focus on meaningful ways to spend money. This year's break the 'piggy' bank program helps us do just that," Lovett-Reid adds.

Learning the Value of Giving

When a group of Canadian grade one students were interviewed, TD found that many already had a clear understanding of giving. "If you are nice to others, and buy them things when they need them, they will be nice to you," said one child. Learning from parents and teachers, young children see the value in helping others and feel good about being able to give. "You have to give food to poor people so they have something to eat," said another.

But while children appreciate the power of giving, at a young age they don't yet have a clear understanding of the value of money. When asked what could be bought with $10, the children's answers included "a marker", "a car", "a dog" and "medicine."

"This is where parents have a role to play in building children's understanding of money and teaching them the value in giving to others," said Lovett-Reid.

"On behalf of Children's Miracle Network hospitals and the 2.6 million Canadian children treated each year, thank you to TD customers and employees," says John Hartman, Chief International Officer, Canada, Children's Miracle Network. "All funds raised stay local and go directly towards the purchase of life-saving equipment, patient services, and medical research." In 2008, with the help of customers and employees, TD raised $5.4 million for 14 Children's Miracle Network hospitals across Canada and more than $32.8 million since 1994.

How to donate

TD Canada Trust Internet banking customers can establish automated monthly donations directly by logging into EasyWeb and clicking on "Special Requests" followed by "Make a Donation" from the menu on the left hand side of the screen. Automated monthly donations can also be set up by visiting any TD Canada Trust branch. Customers who sign up for an automated monthly donation during the campaign will be automatically entered for a chance to win a grand prize trip for a family of four featuring four nights at an Orlando, Florida theme park followed by a three night cruise.

About Children's Miracle Network

Children's Miracle Network is an international non-profit organization that raises funds for more than 170 children's hospitals, 14 of which are in Canada. Compassionate organizations, media partners and countless individuals unite with Children's Miracle Network hospitals to help sick and injured kids in local communities. Donations to Children's Miracle Network create miracles by funding medical care, research and education that saves and improves the lives of more than 2.6 million Canadian children each year. To learn more go to childrensmiraclenetwork.ca.

/NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: A photo accompanying this release is available at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media/

SOURCE TD Bank Group

For further information: For further information: Lisa Mills, Environics Communications, W: (416) 969-2831, (416) 969-2717, lmills@environicspr.com; Tashlin Hirani, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 982-3375, Tashlin.hirani@td.com; Toni-Lynn Raponi, TD Bank Financial Group, (416) 308-8596, Toni-lynn.raponi@td.com


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