In 2015, Rowan started “The Butterfly Project”. Six years earlier, our grandfather had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and as the effects grew more evident, Rowan was moved to begin raising awareness amongst her peers. That year, she created and distributed bracelets each bearing a butterfly token – a symbol of Parkinson’s disease. “The Butterfly Project” has since expanded to include annual community awareness-building campaigns and fundraising initiatives in support of Parkinson’s Research.
In 2016, prompted by the reality of homelessness in Ottawa, Avery committed to making and donating sandwiches to local shelters. What started as a bi-weekly donation of 50 sandwiches soon grew to encompass school sandwich making initiatives and clothing drives. The immediacy of the impact that the food and clothing donations have on the local in-need is what continues to inspire us.
Inspired by the optimism of Canada’s 150th anniversary and our aspirations to help better our communities in the years to come, MapleWishes was broadened with the resolve to include eleven service projects – one for each of the eleven points perimetering the Maple Leaf. While some endeavors are aimed at awareness and fundraising and others work to directly help relieve a problem, all were conceived with the intention of leaving positive and enduring footsteps in our wakes…
– Avery & Rowan Parkinson, cofounders, 2015