For the sake of the children

Over the years, Canadian Tire has been involved in giving something back to communities, from local event sponsorships and bike rodeos to its special area of concern - child safety and protection.FoundationThis past January, the company formed the Canadian Tire Child...

Over the years, Canadian Tire has been involved in giving something back to communities, from local event sponsorships and bike rodeos to its special area of concern – child safety and protection.

Foundation

This past January, the company formed the Canadian Tire Child Protection Foundation as a co-ordinating body to provide funding and other support to charities devoted to the health, safety and welfare of children.

Area of concern

Alan Goddard, Canadian Tire vice-president of corporate affairs, says child protection is an area of concern which the corporation felt it could get behind and give greater emphasis to.

Goddard says Canadian Tire’s efforts have been successful, particularly in the area of street-proofing children ‘because we’ve got the information to a tremendous number of kids across the country.’

The street-proofing message has reached more than 14 million Canadians through in-classroom instruction, police visits, parents, community groups and store events.

The two major national programs funded by Canadian Tire are ‘Stay Alert…Stay Safe’ and ‘Canadian Tire Cycle Safe.’

The Stay Alert…Stay Safe Organization is a registered Canadian charity which was founded in 1987 after the abduction and murder of 11-year-old Alison Parrott in Toronto.

Alison’s mother Lesley Parrott and a group of communication professionals came together to create a national program to help children identify and avoid dangerous situations and provide them with safety tips.

The program is endorsed by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police.

Guides

Animated mascots Bert and Gert are the central figures of the educational materials, which include guides for teachers, police, community leaders and parents, an educational booklet and a video, all available in English or French.

This year, through funding from the Canadian Tire Child Protection Foundation, Stay Alert…Stay Safe will introduce an interactive computer game for schools.

Bike safety

The second project came about through Canadian Tire’s belief that as Canada’s leading retailer of bicycles and accessories, it has a responsibility to promote bicycle safety in the communities it serves.

To support that concern, the corporation and its associate dealers launched the Cycle Safe program in April 1992.

The program includes a 20-page activity booklet for parents and children and a 20-minute video called Gearing Up – A Guide to Safe Cycling.

Cycling Association

It is endorsed by the Canadian Cycling Association and the Canadian Injury Prevention Foundation.

The material includes information on how to properly size a bike, gear up for safety, avoid injury while bicycling, develop stronger bicycling skills and rules of the road for all cyclists.

The material is available in English and French to police, schools, service clubs and other community groups.

Safety kits

Through the Cycle Safe program, Canadian Tire is also providing schools and community groups hosting Bicycle Helmet Awareness Nights with Cycle Safe kits.

These include sample helmets, measuring tape, the Gearing Up video, booklets and a bulk discount on the purchase of helmets.

The Canadian Tire Child Protection Foundation has also become involved in a new project called ‘Learn Not To Burn,’ a fire prevention program aimed at younger children.

Teaching prevention

This program is based on teaching 22 fire and burn prevention behaviors to primary and elementary school students.

Canadian Tire has the commitment of 6,800 fire departments and 13 fire marshals to take the program to schools across Canada.

Canadian Tire involvement goes beyond funding.

Late last October, the Stay Alert…Stay Safe Halloween safety tips were distributed with the household advertising flyers nationwide.

Stay Alert days

At the local level, associate stores across Canada have held more than 200 Stay Alert…Stay Safe days.

In Edmundston, n.b., the local store co-ordinated the distribution of Cycle Safe brochures to 15 schools representing more than 3,000 students from grades one to six.

In Swift Current, Sask., the schools distributed the booklet with the final report cards.