Kelowna youngsters set out to help the world

Siblings Adonie,11, and Lydia, 8, plan to travel to 12 countries over the next year volunteering their time and help raise $1 million.

Kelowna siblings Adonie

A pair of Kelowna siblings want to show that kids can truly make a difference in the world.

Adonie, 11, and Lydia, 6, will be joined by their mom JB Owen on a worldwide charitable mission that will see them spend time in 12 countries between now and the end of August next year.

Their objectives: To raise $1 million for a group of charities in each of those countries, many of them with Canadian service affiliations, and volunteer their time to help on charity projects in the countries they visit.

Owen said the ambitious idea for her kids, who attend Aberdeen Preparatory School, started last spring over a family conversation about what the kids would do if they won a $50 million lottery prize.

“They were pretty adamant about how they would help others if they won that money rather than what they would buy for themselves. They talked about helping giant sea turtles, make every sidewalk in Kelowna the colour of the rainbow, help amputees, just help charities in general,” Owen said.

While they didn’t win the lottery prize, Owen said the concept of giving back continued to percolate with the youngsters, buoyed by their mom telling them you don’t have to be rich to give or help those less fortunate than yourselves.

The kids began asking their mom why there are starving kids in Africa while there is a problem of kids being overweight in the U.S.; and why do some people have a house and a job while others are homeless.

It was from discussing such issues that the idea evolved of Adonie and Lydia home schooling online for the next school term, while attempting to raise $1 million for a select group of charities and traveling to those countries where the charities are located to volunteer their time to work on their projects.

“Our goal is to get 7,000 people to donate $12.12 a month for 12 months to help others on our planet,” Owen said.

Inspiring local residents to make that donation will come from both the kick-off to the family’s charity world tour, and also online updates in a variety of social media formats to show what the kids are doing to volunteer their time and highlighting the need to help.

“Adonie and Lydia want to give hope to other kids that they can make a difference in this world,” said Owen, a single parent who moved to Kelowna with her kids three years ago.

Mayor Colin Basran met with Adonie and Lydia on Tuesday afternoon to offer his support. The family begins their journey heading to Newfoundland at the beginning of October and traveling west to various points before heading abroad.

Their Canadian stops will include Ottawa, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Quebec City, Montreal, Charlottetown, St Johns, Halifax and Vancouver.

Other countries on the JUSTGIVE.today world tour will include Dominican Republic, Mexico, Costa Rica, Australia, Tasmania, Thailand, Peru, Galapagos, Greece and the U.S.

The family received a donation from their grandmother to help off-set their travel and accommodation costs, as the goal is for the money donated to go directly to the charities involved.

Owen will also continue to work in product development for her global clients, saying she can set up a temporary office wherever she can plug in her computer and access the Internet.

Adonie said he will miss school and hockey while traveling abroad for the next year, but he wants to seize the opportunity to be an inspiration for other kids.

“There are a lot of kids out there who don’t get many hugs, friendship, handshakes, and time or support from others,” he said.

Owen describes her children as part of the “fridge door generation,” meaning they open the fridge door and food is there, but they likely spend little time thinking about how that food arrived in their kitchen.

“I just want my kids to be socially aware of the hardships other people face in our community and our world, and there are so many ways they can help, just by being charitable to others,” she said.

For more information about the global charitable campaign, see the website JUSTGIVE.today or email justgiveworldtour@gmail.com.

Just Posted

West Kelowna to hire eight more firefighters

The city looks to solve what they are calling a critical shortage of firefighters

Kelowna RCMP look to reunite stamp collection with owner

The stamp collection was handed to RCMP in Oct.

Kelowna RCMP search for speed-slowing cut out

The cut out of Const. Warren Ning has been allegedly taken from A.S. Matheson Elementary School

Battling winter blues, depression and SAD after the holidays

Kick the blues on ‘Blue Monday’ that is supposedly the most depressing day of the year

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Man charged in 7-Eleven fire in Shuswap granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Most Read