PEI Easter Seals is a long-running charity drive that needs to change.
Easter Seals has been running on PEI for more than 50 years. It’s like old idea who’s time has come. It could be a decent way to raise money but as it sits the campaign is seriously flawed.
The Easter Seals Ambassador job is emotionally abusive for the child with a disability. After three months of attention from CBC and Rotarians, the child is dropped like a stone. For a child with a learning disability, or most children, it leaves them hurt and confused. Other Provinces have acknowledged this. Ontario no longer uses under-age children for the role.
Easter Seals does not compensate the child despite earning more than $150,000 from the campaign. Thirty years ago Rotary gave the child an Canada Savings Bond worth a year’s tuition at UPEI tuition. Today they barely cover the cost of books.
When one Rotarian offered add $500 to buy the Ambassador a computer he needed, the Easter Seals committee refused. They didn’t want to set a precedent the cheapskates. The do pay CBC handsomely though because 1) CBC is not a child to play with and 2) CBC is not disabled and easy prey.
For the conservative Rotary Club, Easter Seals is a business they call “our franchise.” The run it to make a profit.
Easter Seals doesn’t help the children. The money goes to non-government organizations. Children cannot apply to Easter Seals for help. Charlottetown Rotary wants nothing to do with children other than use them as a draw for public pity.
In Ontario Easter Seals provides Direct Financial Assistance to the children. On PEI your money is going to hire administrators and executive directors. Other than Camp Gencheff, the money goes to million dollar organizations like the PEI Council of Persons with Disabilities who don’t really care about the disabled.
The Government of PEI spends more than $15 million annually on children and adults with disabilities. The small amount raised by Rotary misleads you into believing you are helping. You can help a children with disabilities by making sure they can get an education. Treat them with respect and give them an equal place in PEI Society.
CBC uses the Rotary Easter Seals as one of their two major public relations events. CBC and the Rainnie brothers are the good guys. Behind the scenes, CBC gets paid more than $10,000 for the day. CBC management over the years have shown cynical disregard for people with disabilities.
As a child I did the Rotary Easter Seals and March of Dimes fund raising. It seemed fun but Rotary stuck with me too. They were always around and back then we needed them because my parents had to pay for the doctors, hospital and braces themselves. March of Dimes was a big help. I joined Rotary to help children in return. On the inside I learned the process is abusive and corrupt.
If you want to help, send money to Camp Gencheff via the Credit Union branches.