Merritt boy collects bottles for BC Children's Hospital
One small boy in Merritt has set out to make a big difference for children and families in British Columbia.
Seven-year-old Jacob Schultz is on a mission to raise money for the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Since April, Jacob and his family have been collecting recyclable bottles and cans and have raised nearly $250 so far. By next April, Jacob hopes to be able to present the BCCH with a big cheque and he’s asking the community for some help.
It’s a cause that is certainly dear to his heart. With a condition called Dysautonomia, which affects his autonomic nervous system, Jacob has had to stay at the Children’s Hospital for treatment.
When his baby brother Daniel was born, the whole family travelled to Vancouver for two months because Daniel needed open heart surgery at four days old.
“A month before he was born, my mommy had to go to the hospital every week so they could take pictures of his heart and make sure he was still safe,” reads a flyer Jacob is distributing. “We got to go with her and see his picture on the screens and look at his heart too.”
The hospital workers are really good with the siblings as well as the patients, said Jacob’s mother Christiane Schultz. In fact, during their last visit, the kids got to see the Batmobile and the waiting room is always stocked with video games, movies and toys.
“They really make the best of a bad situation for a lot of kids,” said Jacob’s father, Amery Schultz. “The care is very family-centred.”
Besides keeping the kids entertained, the nurses are very good about answering the kids’ curiosities, he said.
“They really calmed the kids down and took the kids one by one and explained what all the tubes and wires were for with Daniel,” said Christiane.
Because of the kind treatment they always receive, the Children’s Hospital has made an impression on the family, and when Jacob saw the construction and heard about the expansion to the hospital, he decided he wanted to help raise money.
First he said he would give half of his paper route money, then he started collecting recyclables, picking them up as he went for walks with his family.
Last weekend during the bike rally, he hauled his wagon and his extendable claw downtown and collected bottles and cans that people had thrown away.
“I really want to help BCCH build their new hospital so they can help other kids and their families like they helped ours,” said Jacob. “It’s a really good place to give money to — this hospital saves children’s lives and is very important.”
Amery said the BCCH fundraising department is “enamoured” with his efforts and have given him permission to use the official logo as he raises funds. In October, he is going to Vancouver for a fundraising seminar for children eight to 18 years old.
While Jacob is quiet around strangers, his parents say he is full of ideas and excited about his goal.
“Certainly the whole family got on board, but this seven-year-old is inspiring,” said Amery.
Anyone wishing to donate to Jacob’s cause can drop recyclables off at the George Hale Bottle Depot and say it’s for Jacob Schultz for the BC Children’s Hospital.
Those unable to drive bottles to the depot can phone Amery at 250-315-5632 and the family will pick them up.