Since 2014, Russ and Sharon Nelson spearheaded the Kindling For Kids fundraiser. They have been spending their spare time to organize and prepare quality bags of kindling to sell in support of the Comox Valley Child Development Association (CVCDA).

Large bags of kindling can be purchased for $35 (cash only) at Reliable Auto Body at the corner of McPhee and Cumberland Road (787 Cumberland Road) or from Russ and Sharon’s front drive at 221 Spindrift Drive in Royston. Bags are available starting in the fall and through winter until supplies last. They usually sell out by spring at the latest.

The whole process comes together with the support of many contributors including the donation of the wood from Ed and Ian Leakey of Chinook Forest Products. Then Russ and friends including Cliff Piercy and Lucas Stiefvater dry and prepare logs into blocks, and blocks into blanks using the electric log splitter. Before being delivered, each blank is hand split at Russ’ workshop directly into heavy duty garbage bags donated by Home Depot. Once at Reliable Auto Body, Mike MacLaren has the bags stacked and ready for easy pick up and purchase.

The Nelsons originally got involved with the CVCDA back in the early 70s when the organization was in it’s early days. Their son who was only three at the time had been involved in a motor vehicle accident resulting in him becoming a paraplegic. It was suggested to Sharon, their son might benefit from services at the centre which was originally located in Cumberland. The Nelson’s and their son were able to benefit from various therapies and the time their young son could spend being cared for out of the home. Eventually, Sharon was approached to participate on the CVCDA Board. After serving for many years, she eventually resigned for other commitments but continued their families support through regular donations and pitching in where ever until the inception of Kindling For Kids.

In an interview in 2021, Sharon got a little emotional when asked how it feels to be involved and to support the work being done through the CVCDA. “I feel really proud to be part of it” said Sharon “and I think it’s important that we all pitch in and do as much as we can, as much as we are able to do because it benefits so many people.” The CVCDA is so grateful for the Nelson’s passion and the support their family has brought to the children and their families who receive services through the organization.

Each year, the Nelson’s join us at the annual CVCDA Children’s Telethon to present us with a cheque of the total amount raised through the year. Since 2014, partial proceeds have also gone to the Canucks For Kids Fund. To date the CVCDA has received over $36,000 from Kindling For Kids:

2014: $1,400
2015: $3,095
2016: $5,305
2017: $4,580
2018: $5,235
2019: $5,376
2020: $5,067
2021: $6,800

The large bags of kindling sell for $35 each, $24 of which is donated to the Comox Valley Child Development Association, $6 to the Canucks For Kids Fund and the remaining amount is used for expenses required to maintain equipment for kindling preparation.

In addition to the funds raised through the sale of kindling, some of the Nelson’s partners also make contributions to the CVCDA year over year on behalf of Kindling for Kids. In 2021, Chris and Tatyana Smith of Nelson Roofing & Sheet Metal donated $500 and Mike MacLaren and his team of Reliable Auto Body another $1,200.

Get your bag of kindling today and help support local child development.