Picture of children sitting in a classroom

Deshi’s Story

What do you do when you wake up to your stomach growling? Hopefully, you’re able to find something to eat. A bowl of cereal or a couple pieces of toast. Maybe with a piece of fruit on the side. A familiar array, your typical morning. You probably don’t think too much about what you’re eating. You’re probably focused on the day ahead instead.

Hungry was Deshi’s default. He knew no differently.

This was never Deshi’s reality. When he woke up hungry, there was nothing in the cupboards to fill him. At only eleven years old, he had quickly grown to understand that breakfast was not an option. His mother worked hard to keep their tiny bachelor apartment’s roof over his head, but money was simply too tight to afford groceries sometimes.

He had become used to gnawing pangs of hunger in his stomach. Sure, they made it hard to focus in class. He found himself zoning out, daydreaming about being somewhere else. In gym, he usually hung back or sat out. He was simply too weak to participate fully, even when the games looked fun.

Hungry was Deshi’s default. He knew no differently.

All of that changed when the Education Foundation of Ottawa began their breakfast program at Deshi’s school. Suddenly, his stomach didn’t ache all day. Every morning, he joined the long queue of eager young students lined up to grab a snack. And slowly, everything changed.

If you enter Deshi’s school now, you’ll see his beaming face looking out at you from the foyer. A proud banner declares “Good Kids Doing Good Things.” His crooked smile of pride is accompanied by a shiny gold medal. The kid who could once barely participate in gym class is now a district shot-put champion.

Deshi now dreams of pursuing a track-and-field scholarship. And he’s not alone.

With the fuel provided by the Education Foundation of Ottawa, Deshi discovered his natural athletic gifts. In fact, he threw his shot-put a full meter further than his second-place competitor at the last track-and-field meet.

Deshi now dreams of pursuing a track-and-field scholarship. And he’s not alone.

Food is fuel. Something as basic as an apple in the morning can make a huge difference in a student’s day. Every week, the Education Foundation of Ottawa provides over 9,000 pieces of fruit to 37 participating schools. That’s thousands of mouths fed thanks to the generosity of people just like you.

Deshi is a changed child: He walks tall in the hallways, proud of his achievements. Not every child will grow up to be an athlete, but every child is a star in their own way. The Education Foundation of Ottawa ensures they can all shine equally.

When Deshi lines up for his morning snack, he lets the smaller children go first. Already, he understands the importance of giving. And when he gets his apple, his smile shines as brightly as the day he won his shot-put gold medal.

Thanks to your kind generosity another child in our community has been prevented from falling through the cracks.

 

*Please note that the name has been changed to protect this child’s identity.