The 2017 campaign marked the 10th year Amy Oakes has raised money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation in honour of her grandfather Malcolm Oakes and uncle George Scholten.
While a decade of philanthropy is remarkable on its own, the fact that she’s only 17 makes it that much more impressive.
Oakes began canvassing as a seven-year-old second grader.
Over the years she’s kept track of who donates regularly and who she knows she can count on to visit again. She’s gained confidence in her methods and has evolved from needing her mom’s help walking around the neighbourhood to doing it all on her own.
Between Grades 2 and 6 she managed to fundraise the most money in her school each year. By Grade 7, half of what the entire school district collected came from Oakes’s efforts. She was proud, and her school was too, holding an assembly in her honour.
Oakes credits her success to those who have made an effort to donate to her and also to her parents’ unwavering support.
“I must say what a pleasure it has been for me over the years, going door to door to work places, to family and friends, fundraising,” she said. “I would like to thank my dad Colin and my mom Tina-Lee for their continuous support over the years.”
That support allowed her to not just match but to exceed her goal in each of the last two years.
“Last year my goal was to raise over $1,061 and I ended up raising $1,475,” she said.
That total earned her the distinction of being one of the top 100 canvassers on Vancouver Island in 2016 and because of that she was selected to be recognized nationally through the main office in Ontario.
Her 2017 goal was $1,500 but when all was said and done she’d collected $2,300.
Moving forward as a Grade 12, rugby playing senior with a part-time job and with post secondary school in her near future, Oakes knows it is going to get harder to make time to canvass.
That’s not to say she’ll stop, however.
“I would like to keep going,” she said. “People count on me. Remember every seven minutes a Canadian dies from a stroke or heart disease.”