When Mrs. Kelly Clark, a first grade teacher at Toronto’s Forest Hill Elementary, asked her students to help the environment, animals or people, she inspired Andrew Shinoff, then 6, to launch an enterprising business, which would raise nearly $8,000 for Interplast.*
Since 2003, Andrew has sold thousands of Freezies, a slushie frozen treat, to his schoolmates, donating the proceeds to Interplast. Warm weather and sunshine often conjure images of popsicles and excited children running toward the sound of the ice cream truck. But for Forest Hill Elementary students, it means Andrew will be rolling up with his Freezie-fi lled wagon and they will be running to him during recess, exchanging their dollars for the frozen treats and helping provide life-changing surgery for children less fortunate.
It makes me feel helpful to people on the other side of the world— Andrew Shinoff, grade 2
Andrew has forgone hundreds of hours of recess in order to sell Freezies for Interplast. “It makes me feel helpful to people on the other side of the world,” said Andrew, now 11.
“I feel useful and proud that I have an opportunity to help children in other countries and to provide kids here a refreshing treat on a hot day at school.” At age 6, Andrew knew that he wanted his proceeds to go to children in poor countries, so he asked his mom, Mindy, to get an envelope, mark it “Third World” and send the nearly $300 he had raised.
However, Mindy, an OR nurse, made the suggestion that it might be better to send the money to Interplast. One of her colleagues, an Interplast volunteer, had told her about Interplast and the desperate need for reconstructive surgery among the poor in developing countries. Andrew liked the idea and thus began years of generous giving.
I feel useful and proud that I have an opportunity to help children— Andrew Shinoff, grade 2
When the weather turns warm again this year, look for Andrew on the playground selflessly selling Freezies, distributing his strong ethic to help others and setting a wonderful example of ingenuity and kindness. Interplast is very touched and grateful for his dedicated service and outstanding generosity.
*Note: In some years, the Shinoffs’ donations were doubled because of matching grants.
– Andrew Shinoff
This article was published in Healing Hands Magazine in March 2008.