Gifts of Giving
The holidays can be a tough time for children and their families who will be spending most of their time in treatment. As the season of giving approaches, we ask you to consider giving a gift of therapeutic comfort and play. Our Smilezones offer a range of fun, comforting and therapeutic elements that a child of any ability and with any interest can enjoy. This season, you choose how to help Smilezone kids in a way that connects with you!

You can help make tough days a little brighter for kids facing health challenges by donating to any of our five categories, including an array of much-needed items for upcoming Smilezone installations in hospitals & healthcare centres.
Ask An Expert: Alicia Vanderstarren

This month we interviewed long-time volunteer for Smilezone (and for the Oakville community) Alicia Vanderstarren. At age 15, Alicia has gone above and beyond to contribute and give back to her community in many ways including volunteerism. By participating in our events, recruiting additional support from her friends and spreading her magnetic positivity, Alicia has become a leading volunteer for us at Smilezone.
Check out Alicia's full interview below.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
My name is Alicia. I am a 15 year old student in Grade 11. I spend a good portion of my spare time helping out in my community.

I am a member of my school’s swim team, hold a part time job, enjoy babysitting and am also a volunteer at the Oakville Hospital and with Smilezone. In my downtime, I like watching Netflix and spending time with my friends.

Do you think it’s important for young people in particular to get involved in their community? Why or why not?
Yes, I believe it is important. I think it helps students to understand what the “real world” is like outside of school and gives them the opportunity to experience various situations that can help them to shape their future goals.
When/how did you first begin volunteering?
I began volunteering in Grade 9. It’s a requirement of graduation that students obtain a certain number of volunteer hours. Once I experienced volunteering, I realized that I wanted to do more than the bare minimum and welcomed other opportunities.

My first experience volunteering with Smilezone was for their 24-hour Hockey Tournament in my Grade 9 year. Since then I have had the opportunity to help out at various functions.

What volunteer roles have you had with Smilezone?
I have helped in the Kids’ Zone at the Hockey Tournament for the past two years, have helped in the office prepping swag bags for the event, and have joined Kelsey [Smilezones Special Events Coordinator] at other community events in Oakville as needed.

Which roles have you found the most value in?
I really like being part of the Kids’ Zone because I like seeing the enjoyment on the children’s faces when they are engaged and having fun!

What types of volunteer opportunities do you think young people would find attractive/rewarding?
I think that students really enjoy opportunities where they can volunteer with their friends. I think that as long as whatever it is that you are doing is making a difference in the community or for a population of individuals who require support, seeing the effects for those individuals is the most rewarding part of volunteering.

Is there any advice you would give to someone looking to volunteer somewhere for the first time?
I would simply say do something that you truly enjoy and that sparks your interest.
Post Your #UNSelfie

Giving Tuesday is Almost Here!

Giving Tuesday is a global movement where millions of people all over the world give back to their communities. While Giving Tuesday is traditionally an on-line fundraising movement, there are plenty of other ways to participate!

When: Tuesday December 3rd 2019

This year share the reason you participated in Giving Tuesday by posting a photo of why you gave on social media! Use the popular hashtag #UNSelfie and tag our our social media handles if you choose to support Smilezone! Download our PDF or make your own #UNselfie page. All proceeds go towards our Smilezone project at Five Counties Children's Centre .

Facebook: @Smilezone Foundation
Instagram: @smilezonefoundation
Twitter: @Smilezone4kids

Don't forget you can choose to make it a monthly gift! By making a small donation monthly you can make BIG change

Wine Sip Fundraiser
Medivino Imports has teamed up with Acura of Oakville to host a Holiday Wine Tasting event on behalf of Smilezone! Hosted by Harding Waterfront Estates on November 14th, a portion of all ticket and wine sales will go to supporting Smilezone Foundation. Come and sample some new wines and purchase wine for your holiday parties and gifts while giving back to your community.
You can get tickets online or at the door! 
We're Back with Raptors 905 for Another Season!

On Friday November 8th we kicked off our first game of the season with our partners Raptors 905! For the 2019/2020 basketball season we will be selling 50/50 tickets at the Raptors 905 home games to support our 2020 Smilezone project at Peel Children's Aid Society.

Come out and enjoy some solid sports entertainment and try your luck at the pot while giving back to the community!

Check out the full details and game dates we will be selling tickets at here
Smilezone Transforms
York Children's Aid Society

York CAS Smilezones

Over the weekend of October 25th – 27th we transformed SIX Family Visitation Rooms within York CAS into positive, uplifting spaces while providing opportunities for children and families to bond.

By including children’s activity stations, play mats, sensory wall spinners, tactile tables, glider rocking chairs, infant change tables, I-Spy murals and many other beneficial items, kids and their care givers can be at ease and interact in comfortable and engaging spaces.

These new Smilezones will allow children and families to relax, have fun and strengthen relationships in a safe and controlled setting where everyone can feel comfortable and at home.

We want to thank the Diversey Canada who donated the funds of their golf tournament to this project and to the Harold E. Ballard Foundation, both who have made this project possible.

Smilezone Highlights
Check out our December newsletter for more

Upcoming Smilezones!
This month we will be creating Smilezones at Milton District Hospital followed by Alexander marine Hospital in Cobourg!

Check out all of the details in our December Newsletter.
Battle of the Blades
If you have been following along with Battle of the Blades each week then you know how amazing Colton and Amanda performed every show! We are sad it's over but thankful for the journey!
We are so grateful to have been chosen by Colton Orr as his charity of choice.

Check out the final episode where Colton met with Smilezone and Erinoakkids children here

Welcoming two new board members!
We want to welcome two new members of our Board of Directors; Joan Waetcher and Chris Coderre.

We are thrilled to be adding two incredibly passionate and driven people to our team.
Meet our Board here

Contact Us

Smilezone Foundation
557 Chartwell Road
Oakville, Ontario
L6J 4A8