Abbotsford teen organizes fundraiser for two hospitals

Second year in a row for 'Claus Cares' endeavour

Samyta Rai (standing behind the nurse) is shown with friends (from left) Madison Monto

Samyta Rai (standing behind the nurse) is shown with friends (from left) Madison Monto

An Abbotsford teen organized a fundraiser over the holiday season, resulting in $700 being collected for Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Langley Memorial Hospital.

Samyta Rai came up with the idea of the fundraiser last year as part of her senior leadership class at Yale Secondary, and called it “Claus Cares.”

She and her group fundraised about $300 and bought Christmas gifts for kids who were in the hospital over the holidays and donated money to the pediatric unit.

This year, Rai decided to expand the project, adding Langley Memorial Hospital.

Rai and her friend Gabby Fisher organized the fundraising, and the group sold donuts and pizza in downtown Abbotsford every week for a month.

Rai, who graduates in the spring, said she didn’t just see the project as a school assignment, but as a way to help out others and make their Christmas better.

“I can imagine how hard it is on the parents and even on the kids, having to spend Christmas in the hospital. Many families were very appreciative of what we did and I will never forget the smiles we put on the kids’ faces.”

Rai is now working on another project to raise funds to buy school supplies for all the kids in a school in Raikot, India.

She came across the school while visiting India for the first time last March, and saw one of the students picking up crumpled, ripped paper to use at school.

Rai is again visiting India in March, when she will deliver all the school supplies.

“”I am very fortunate to be able to live in Canada and be able to buy my own school supplies. It breaks my heart to see kids at a young age of five struggling to go to school and get school supplies. That’s why I want to help them out,” she said.