A Red Deer girl has been unexpectedly rewarded for her tremendous generosity shown earlier this month.
Natasha Walz, 12, wanted to help keep the Red Deer chapter of the Learning Disabilities Association of Central Alberta open as it’s been facing financial hardship of late.
She’s been really helped with her math skills by the LDAA, and wanted to give something back to help the local office keep their doors open.
For her birthday last month, she received three tickets to pop megastar Justin Bieber’s Edmonton concert in September. She later decided to donate the tickets to the LDAA so they could use them in a fundraising raffle.
Her generosity ultimately helped raise $1,100 for the LDAA, as an anonymous group purchased the tickets and then decided to return them to Natasha so she could attend the show.
“I thought it was really amazing,” said Natasha of the prospect of getting to see Bieber after all. “I had no idea this would happen, and I hadn’t even thought of it.”
Sheryl Krill, executive director of the LDAA, was thrilled with the donation and inspired by Natasha’s giving spirit.
“Happy birthday Natasha and we hope that you enjoy the Justin Bieber concert package,” she said, adding that Natasha has discovered “that it is in the giving that we receive.
“Natasha’s story has also reached people who have never heard of our Association.”
Natasha’s mother Laura Freeman said since Natasha started with the LDAA her Grade six math mark soared from an E to an A. As for the ticket donation, it’s in her daughter’s nature to help out, she said.
Freeman recently signed on as president of the LDAA’s board as well, showing the family’s dedication to the organization that much more.
The LDAA has been serving families for the past 21 years but of late has been facing dire financial pressures. With provincial grants and other sources of funding having dried up over the past while closure this past spring had become a certainty unless new sources of money could be found.
Donations have come in to keep things going for now, but Krill said the real need is for sustainable funding.
The LDAA Red Deer Chapter receives referrals from psychologists, schools, teachers, doctors, Family and School Wellness, Children’s Services, Mental Health, the 49th Street Youth Centre, Neighbourhood Places and by word of mouth from clients.
Meanwhile, Krill said all proceeds from the ticket auction will benefit the operating budget of the Red Deer chapter of the LDAA.
“We appreciate the community’s concern and support for our survival and truly wish to serve for many years to come.”
In the meantime, anyone interested in donating to the LDAA is welcome to do so. Tax receipts for donations of $20 or more are also available. A major fundraiser is also in the works for late October.
For more information, call the LDAA office at 403-340-3885.