From picture books for babies to chapter bestsellers for teenagers, sick children at North York General Hospital will be able to spend their days in fantasy worlds far removed from medical tests and treatments thanks to a generous donation.
Last Thursday, 13-year-old teenagers Dylan Resnick and Sam Kadish delivered hundreds of books they collected from fellow students at their Thornhill school.
If I were in hospital and I was a little kid, I would like to read books to get my mind off it (my illness)— Dylan Resnick, grade 8 student
The good deed came courtesy of a class assignment from their teacher, Mrs. Herman at Ventura Park Public School, who every year challenges her students to work in pairs on a project that somehow benefits the community.
Dylan and Sam tossed around a couple of ideas when they first received the assignment. For example, Sam suggested spending a day volunteering in a nursing home.
But in the end, they settled on Dylan’s idea of collecting books and donating them to the hospital. He chose North York General because several of his relatives have been treated at the hospital.
“If I were in hospital and I was a little kid, I would like to read books to get my mind off it (my illness),” Dylan said.
The boys quickly put out the word about their project, urging students to donate gently used books to the boxes they had placed around the school.
The response was overwhelming.
It's a good feeling to donate stuff— Sam Kadish, grade 8 student
In just six school days, the boys collected between 350 and 400 books.
Other students praised their efforts.
“They would say, ‘Wow, you guys are doing good,'” Dylan said.
Their classmates came up with other worthy projects, including selling food at a Terry Fox run and donating the funds to schools in at-risk neighbourhoods, and sending money to Africa.
But their teacher acknowledged that Dylan and Sam’s efforts were noteworthy.
“She was proud of us: ‘Wow, you are one of the most successful (projects) we’ve ever had,'” Dylan said.
The boys will have to wait until next week to find out their mark on the project. But just knowing they’re helping other children already has given then an A feeling.
“It’s a good feeling to donate stuff,” Dylan said.
This article was published in the The Thornhil Liberal Newspaper on November 18th 2008