Letting Kids be Kids with Craig Cardiff

By Christine Séguin — Sat, 20/12/2014 - 18:12

This time of year it is easy to get caught up in shopping, drinking and eating.  While all that is well and good it’s important to reflect on what we are contributing to the world and how we are making it better.  Five Ottawa students will be doing just that with the help of local musician Craig Cardiff.

On Sunday, December 21, Craig will be playing an intimate show at the Dovercourt Community Centre.  The proceeds from this concert will be benefitting an orphanage in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Amy MacDonald, Darnell Kennedy, Kayla Medeiros, Callie Graziadei and Sofia Snook will be volunteering there for six weeks, helping the orphanage by keeping the kids active and teaching basic skills.

I caught Darnell Kennedy while he was on his way to the Dovercourt Community Centre where he runs before and after school programs for children. We spoke about his passion for helping underprivileged kids. “I’ve worked with an organization called Christie Lake Kids. They work with children who live in poverty.  I was a participant there myself and now that I’ve grown up through their programs, it really instilled in me that I wanted to give back as much as I could.” Darnell volunteered and worked with them in various capacities and was inspired to take his work abroad. 

Craig Cardiff also has a relationship with Christie Lake Kids. He’s performed for councillors on a few occasions. “Whenever anyone from Christie Lake Kids approaches me or anyone from Partick we really take note because they are really intense and passionate people.”  He respects the fact that these five young and passionate students will be volunteering their time in such a valuable way.  At the show, the audience can expect a concert no different from that at Ritual, The Bronson Centre or Mavericks. This will be a typical concert in which the funds will be going directly to helping the orphanage.

Darnell and co. will be staying with a generous host family and working with International Volunteer Headquarters in Kibera. “We chose an orphanage that has the same passion as we do. They are building on the skills that every child should have access to. It could be as simple as running around with them for an hour inside the orphanage and getting them up and active.” Not all orphanages are like this and Darnell has hopes that his work with IVHQ will inspire others to change their programs and give kids the right to skill building, fun and love.

The group has been fundraising in various capacities with bake sales and a crowdfunding campaign through Youcaring.com.  This concert will be a big help to their cause.  “We’ve invited Craig to come play and of course he said yes which is awesome.  We’ve already paid our own way and so all of the funds we raise are going to the orphanage.”

Darnell wanted to be clear that all travel expenses have been covered out of pocket. The money is all going directly to giving these children a proper childhood. The group will use the funds to help kids pay for school and offer activities and programs for those who are too young or out of school. They will be offering the same types of programs that Darnell was able to benefit from in his childhood.

I hope you consider taking a break from the madness of holiday prepping to take in this really special evening with Craig Cardiff and this passionate group of students.

Fundraiser/Benefit Show with Craig Cardiff
Sunday, December 21, 2014 @6:30pm
Dovercourt Community Centre
Tickets $20 in advance & $25 at the door

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