To a 9-year-old, Thanksgiving is all about the turkey, yummy desserts and days off school. Owin Vanderver and his 7-year old sister Emma decided this year was going to be a little different. With help from family, friends and neighbors, Owin was able to raise $500 for MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital’s pediatric unit, the National Center for Children’s Rehabilitation (NCCR), one pumpkin pie at a time.
It all started when Owin asked his mother, a doctor at Children’s National Medical Center, what happened to children who got hurt and were in the hospital. Owin’s mother, Adeline Vanderver, MD, explained that some kids might not be able to walk, talk or even eat due to their injuries and that once doctors in hospitals could no longer make them better with medicine, these children were often transferred to a rehabilitation hospital. “Therapists and doctors work to help make their bodies work better, so they could once again do the things kids love to do, like play, and run around,” Owin’s mother told him.
Owin, greatly affected by his mother’s words, decided that he wanted to donate his allowance, about $50, to children in the peds unit. “Owin gets $2 a week for household chores, so this represented six months of saving for him, that he had been keeping for a much wanted Lego set,” explained his mother.
A few days later, Owin and his sister came up with the idea to hold a bake sale so they could raise more money. Their father suggested that they make a couple extra pumpkin pies over Thanksgiving and sell them to neighbors. The next day, the kids asked if they could walk around neighboring streets to sell pies, with the idea of selling maybe two or three in total. After a day of canvassing the neighborhood, Owin and his sister came back with unexpected news: they had sold nearly 30 pies!
-By Liz Williamson