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Sisters help Humane Society through handmade holiday cards

Rowan Wicke, 7, and Juniper Wicke, 9, hold holiday cards that they’ve drawn and painted as a fundraiser for the Kingston Humane Society. Photo by abi lyon wicke.

Two Kingston-area sisters—just seven and nine years of age—are proving that one can never be too young to make a difference in the world around them.

Not content with the $80 they raised last Halloween as they asked for donations to the Kingston Humane Society (KHS) while trick-or-treating, Rowan Wicke, 7, and Juniper Wicke, 9, have made holiday cards for sale, with proceeds going to the same organization.

“We came up with the idea together,” said Rowan.

“We love drawing and painting, so we decided to make cards to sell at Christmas to raise more money,” Juniper added.

The inspiration for the cards started around Halloween, when the siblings heard about overcrowding at the KHS through the local news.

Even kids can help when they see a problem that needs addressing. There’s always something you can do, even if you’re seven. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the problems in the world and think that one person can’t make a difference, but that’s not what we believe around here.”

– abi lyon wicke

“We got Clementine (the family cat) a couple of years ago. She was a rescue at the Humane Society. We were so happy to give her a good home with us. It was hard for [the KHS] to take care of all the pets, because there were so many of them,” Juniper expressed.

Their family, based near Elginburg, sketches and draws together a lot. According to Rowan, they drew cats, dogs, mice, and rabbits because they were all pets that people can get from the KHS. “First we draw it in our drawing book, and then we copy them to watercolour paper and watercolour them,” she described of the pair’s artistic process.

Their mom, abi lyon wicke (who prefers her name spelled in lower case), showed them how to add watercolour touches on the drawings. “I had [my own] picture and I would show with my brush how to do it, and they would copy what I was doing,” abi, who’s a potter, explained.

“Everybody in our family loves to do creative things. We often draw and paint together as a family. We read a lot of books with beautiful drawings in them and get inspired by those. Three out of four grandparents love to draw and paint,” she said.

Holiday cards made by Rowan and Juniper Wicke. Submitted photo.

Taking the drawings and turning them into cards ready to be purchased was a process that took longer than they thought it would. The cards didn’t arrive as early as they would have liked.

Their father, Chris, first takes pictures of the card and prepares them for print. Then they get sent off to the printers. “We had to decide how many we wanted done and what amount we were willing to pay upfront. Before we picked them up, we spoke to our local pet and feed store (Sydenham Pet and Farm Supply), and they enthusiastically agreed to have the cards in their store,” abi said.

“If kids can do this, anyone can,” Juniper said of their project. “People should think about what they can do to help,” Rowan added.

“I feel proud of them, they’re capable of a great deal. It’s important to me that they know they can make a difference in the world by small actions and by using the skills and talents that they have to help others,” their mother said.

The 5×7-inch cards feature sketches of a cat, a dog, a mouse and a rabbit, and include a matching envelope, and cost $5 each or five for $20. They have printed 100 holiday cards, with almost half of them sold.

In-person purchases are available at Sydenham Pet and Farm Supply, located at 4383 Sydenham Mill Street in Sydenham, and at the Glenburnie Grocery at 2454 Perth Road in Glenburnie. Online purchases may be made by emailing the girls’ parents at [email protected], with home deliveries available in Kingston.

“We have a lot of gratitude for what we’ve been given, and we’d like to share that,” abi said. “It would be lovely, especially for the girls after all the work they’ve put into this, if we were able to raise awareness about the Humane Society needing the support right now.

“Even kids can help when they see a problem that needs addressing. There’s always something you can do, even if you’re seven [years old]. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the problems in the world and think that one person can’t make a difference, but that’s not what we believe around here,” the girls’ mum concluded.

Rowan’s wish for Christmas is “for the animals to have homes,” and Juniper hopes that “animals will find new homes,“ and “have everything that they need at the Humane Society.”

An example of Juniper and Rowan’s animal-inspired artistry featured in their holiday cards to raise funds for the Kingston Humane Society. Submitted photo.
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