Brothers build wood board Santas and snowmen to help children affected by cancer
TORONTO -- Tiago and Mateo have been busy in their at-home workshop creating a special holiday project for a good cause.
“It’s really fun!” 10-year-old Tiago told CTV News Toronto. “We go down here and spend about two to three hours just painting a lot!”
The brothers from Milton have been crafting wood boards into Christmas characters, painting images of Santa and Snowmen together. Their mother posted about the project on Facebook, and word quickly spread about the creations. Before long, orders were coming in.
“At the beginning, we were like okay we’re going to get 10,” Tiago said. “Then, over the next week or so, we got up to 50! And we’re like, ‘oh my gosh, that’s going to take a long time!’”
The boys are happy to put in the work, however, as the decorative boards are for a good cause. Each Santa or snowman costs $45, and one third of the money raised from each sale will be going to help children in need.
“It feels like the right thing to do,” said seven-year-old Mateo.
It’s the kind of giving that these siblings have always done around their birthdays.
“Instead of getting presents, we ask the people give us like toys or money, and then we always send it to charity,” Tiago said. “This year, because of the whole pandemic and stuff, we couldn’t. So we were wondering what we could do.”
It’s how the idea for the wooden boards came about. Together, Tiago and Mateo decided they would be donating to Camp Ooch and its programs for kids and families affected by childhood cancer.
“We are entirely funded by donations, so to keep our programs free for families we rely on fundraisers like Mateo and Tiago,” said Ashley Hilkewich, Chief Development Officer at Camp Ooch and Camp Trilluim. “They’re also helping us to keep these virtual programs going so that kids and families who are isolated and at home during the pandemic can stay connected to their camp community.”
Tiago and Mateo are having so much fun with their project, that they say they have a new holiday tradition.
“We’re thinking next year on Christmas, we’re going to add new characters on to them,” Mateo told CTV News.
Tiago adds that he and his brother are happy to be helping kids who are having an even tougher year than most.
“We’re so lucky to be good and healthy,” he added. “And we love doing stuff together.”