A letter of thanks, allowance money, and a trampoline fundraiser: How little philanthropists are making a big impact on the frontlines of COVID-19


With the province’s recent decision to close schools for the remainder of the school year, Nova Scotia kids suddenly have a lot more free time on their hands.

While some will fill their days with online lessons, playing in the backyard and screen time, others like 11-year-old Sawyer Burke and Abby (10), Noah (8) and Sullivan Horne (5) are busy inspiring others to support frontline care during COVID-19. And even stepping up by making donations themselves.

In a personal letter titled ‘Dear QEII’, Sawyer wrote to healthcare staff working within the QEII’s COVID-19 assessment centre and beyond to thank them for “risking [their] lives on the frontlines” and commending their “great honor and courage.”

Sawyer’s message of support was accompanied by a $20 donation, which he directed to help purchase equipment for COVID-19 patients as well as items needed to protect staff. Sawyer’s selfless deed and plans to continue fundraising has already motivated family friends to join him in supporting the QEII COVID-19 Response Fund.


When Abby, Noah and Sullivan recently embarked on a viral stay-at-home challenge, they had no idea that 7+ hours spent on a trampoline would lead to more than $1,300 raised by family and neighbours for COVID-19 response.

Inspired by Youtube’s ‘last to leave’ movement, the energetic trio spent an entire day on their backyard trampoline in an ode to Dr. Robert Strang’s stay-at-home guidelines – and in honour of healthcare teams.

Everyone from the children’s grandmother to the neighbours watching from their own backyards and windows were inspired by the kids’ dedication. Donations to the QEII COVID-19 Response Fund in honour of Abby, Noah and Sullivan quickly climbed, helping to create an incredible impact for families affected by the pandemic.


“Knowing that someone was making a donation in their name really inspired the kids to try even harder and added a new element of fun and competition,” says Trish Sanford, mom to Abby, Noah and Sullivan. “They felt proud that their efforts were recognized.”

Sawyer and the Sanford-Horne trio are not alone in their efforts. Since stay-at-home orders were first announced, the QEII Foundation has received several gifts from parents on their children’s behalf to support COVID-19 response efforts. Whether they were donating their well-earned allowance money or what the tooth fairy left behind underneath their pillows, kids across the province are taking pride in giving back.

As of May 12, the Foundation’s QEII COVID-19 Response Fund has raised more than $260,000 towards its $500,000 goal for frontline needs. Funds raised are purchasing vital equipment and technology for the QEII’s COVID-19 wards and to support self-care for COVID-19 patients recovering at home.

With the purchase of every iPad to keep families connected, specialized equipment to monitor the lungs and oxygen levels, and e-Mental health resources to support our province during times of need, these little philanthropists are making a huge impact and inspiring many of us along the way.

To learn more about the QEII Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund, visit QE2COVID19Response.ca.