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Barrie boy packs 440 backpacks for Ukrainian children

'After what I’ve seen, I must continue to help,' says 12-year-old Oscar Oliver

Twelve-year-old Oscar Oliver from Barrie has returned from Poland where he spent two unforgettable weeks packing over 400 backpacks with supplies for Ukrainian refugee children and delivering them to various refugee contact centres across the country and to some families personally.

Oscar launched his Buy a Backpack campaign for Ukrainian refugee children in Poland just two months ago. Asking for donations of $50 for each new backpack – which he filled with school and educational supplies, toys, candy, toiletries (boys), cosmetics (girls) and various gifts – Oscar’s campaigned achieved a total of 440 backpacks.

For Oscar, the trip was full of many emotions and, together with his mom, he has written a report about his Journey for a Lifetime which can also be downloaded here.

Following on from his life-changing experience, Oscar is determined to do more.

“I can’t stop here,” said Oscar. “After what I’ve seen, I must continue to help. There are now over 3 million refugees in Poland and so many of them are children. They are scared and many are sick and have disabilities.”

So Oscar is extending his Buy a Backpack campaign to try and reach his new target of 1,000 backpacks, which will all be filled with the needs of the children and of their moms who desperately need them. Each backpack is personalized with an inspirational card in the name, town, country of the individual donor and with a message of love, peace and hope to the child and their family.

“I want to thank everyone who has helped my cause and for all the messages of love and encouragement I have received,” said Oscar. “I realize that even an item as small as a backpack can mean so much to others in need, and so every donation really does make a difference.”

To Buy a Backpack in support of Oscar’s cause visit Oscar’s donation page at the Children’s Foundation website.

About Oscar
Oscar Oliver is 12 years old and lives in Barrie, Ont., Canada. He is the current Ontario Pre-Novice Figure Skating Champion in singles and pairs. He trains at the Mariposa School of Skating and attends Warnica Public School. Oscar is a dual Canadian/Polish citizen.

About Fundacja Dziecięca Fantazja (Poland)
Since 2004, Fantazja has made over 8,000 wishes and dreams come true for children in Poland who live with life-threatening illnesses, life-limiting conditions or challenging disabilities.

In 2014 Oscar’s parents were awarded the Canadian Governor General’s Medallion for their charity work and for “strengthening relations between Poland and Canada.”