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Family-Centred Care Practice
Dedicated to battling injustice of any form against children, youth, persons with disability and the elderly. Family-Centred Care Practice is the most ethically viable and cost-effective approach of service delivery.
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Invitation to Honorable Manmeet Bhullar from Velvet Martin

Invitation to Honorable Manmeet Bhullar from Velvet Martin | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
January 9, 2014 Honourable Manmeet Bhullar, My name is Velvet Martin. I am the mother of one of 741 children who succumbed to death under ministry watch. I come to you asking to listen since not one member who proceeded you demonstrated the integrity to do so. I am no longer asking this for myself alone. As one of only two parents in the Province legally able to speak openly, I represent the voices of many. When I came forward seeking answers, closure, justice, I was genuinely hopeful that officials would benignly assist, but it was sadly an awakening to learn otherwise. Taught from a young age to respect authority figures and rely upon the judicial system should harm arise, it was a struggle for me to reconcile how differently the world actually functioned. This, perhaps, is by far the most shocking aspect that affected me... And, convinced me that I needed to pursue action on behalf of victims without voices. As I stepped forward to divulge my family’s story, I was suddenly inundated with requests for assistance; others sharing equally tragic accounts of harm and fatalities striking loved ones. I had thought I was alone. Once again, this cemented my belief that I needed to become actively involved in speaking and teaching to prevent other young lives from being lost. Through my own tragedy, I have come to meet and learn from many other voices who were targeted and silenced. Victims of the Residential School Era, those institutionalized within the Sterilization movement, parents of children with medical needs erroneously sentenced to the Child Welfare Intervention Model, parents with developmental and medical issues targeted upon birth of their own child simply because they utilize a wheelchair, young single mothers who have had children apprehended at birth not due to deed, but solely because of age and marital status.... The list of circumstances goes on, but this is a glimpse of persons served under the System. Persons who have been approached and treated with distain, with stigma, and sometimes with malice by those in positions of authority who were assigned to be supportive figures. I have attended vigils and court sessions for other fallen children and cried alongside the parents of other victims. One of the most difficult experiences I’ve ever encountered was in witnessing a grieving mother at her child’s service, need to stop the ceremony and request media to stop filming lest she be held liable for publicly speaking the name of her own baby girl. Can you imagine what it must be like to know that another human being is responsible for taking the life of your child, yet it is you and your child who is penalized; prevented from disclosure of identification. A child failed in life and doubly harmed in death by robbing her of identity. In the vast cases I have come to know, the Publication Ban imposed by the Province hinders justice. It further harms measures to prevent history repeating through imposed silence which disallows open inspection to offer resolution, closure, means to better protect others through education. Alberta is one of the most restrictive Provinces in Alberta and it is time to remove the veil of secrecy. Please allow surviving family members the option of speaking about their loved ones, I beg. I feel that my voice is a crucial one to be present within Roundtable discussion hoping to serve our children and families more effectively, humanely, and safely. Throughout the years, prior to, and since my little girl’s passing 7 years ago this past December, I have strived to improve circumstances by bringing my knowledge into different arenas where I can best effect change. I have been Co-Chairing with our Pediatric Rehabilitation Hospital and a member of Council for more than 8 years. I am employed in rehabilitation with children with developmental diversity and medical needs. I am the Spokesperson for the organization which spans across Canada and has members across the globe, Protecting Canadian Children. And, I am the Founder of Samantha’s Law for the Province of Alberta. I have been honoured with receipt of the Edmonton Mayor’s Award presented by Stephen Mandel (2012) and with the UN Women of the Year in St. Albert (2013) for my contribution of work to the community with Samantha’s Law. Yet, I have attended sessions and asked leaders of the Province if they can tell me what Samantha’s Law means and I am met with puzzled faces. Once again, I am disenchanted because it pains me to know that my child’s life is not being honoured with respect as it should be when Ministers have not been educated. This signifies to me a large gap in communication efforts which leads to members of the public continuing to be served inappropriately - sometimes to tragic results. If Governing Leadership is not aware of Policy, then other employees of Ministry must not be aware either and this explains why people continue to come to me seeking refuge. Samantha’s Law indicates that loving families tasked with extraordinary medical and developmental issues, are not to be served by Child Welfare Intervention Authorities. Children are not to be referred to out of home care, nor are parents to be coerced into relinquishing custody in effort to attain needed medical supports. In imposing such conditions on families, we are continuing to silently state that people with diversity are not respected... No differently than days of the past where Institutionalism was deemed an acceptable arrangement. Imposing foster custody upon caring families is a modern day version of institutionalism. Natural families must be offered the same degree of service support as offered to those employed by the ministry to care for children. It is not only ethical, but research indicates that it is financially viable. Under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, the Family Support for Children with Disabilities Act, Section 2-3 was amended retroactive to my daughter’s death, December 2006 to read:  “The Family Support for Children FSCD Program to have separate legislation from that of child protective services.” This is my daughter’s gift. Through Samantha’s short life of 13 years, she has taught outstanding lessons to experts around the world who contact me regularly to learn how to develop similar protocol within their communities. Yet, we here in the Province are largely still not utilizing the knowledge effectively because frontline staff continue to advice erroneously. We often hear that more studies are required, more funding, more talk. These are not the solutions. We have wonderful, well-researched Policy in place, the problem is lack of adherence to it and lack of consequences for negligence. The next argument offered in response is that we will lose employees who are afraid to be held accountable. My answer: Good! We want suitable employees, those with true vested interest in children who are knowledgeable and kind to interact with care for children who truly are in need of alternate placement. True, we will lose workers and thus lack of foster homes and caseworkers will lead to a tasked system - which will lead to less children being needlessly taken into custody - which will lead to funds redirected into prevention rather than reactive means. Less is MORE! It is not my intention to simply moan, I have viable solutions to offer and I feel that it is necessary for the voice of one who has lived through both sides of the foster care system to sit and openly divulge what is working and what is not in order to move forward. Yes, I have also held the position of a foster parent! A few years ago, I was approached by the government to provide care for two children with special needs that I was working in rehabilitation with whose family was in crisis. Fearing that the children could end up with a horrendous fate as that of my child, I accepted the role - which was to be “a few days”, but instead turned into a half year venture before reunification could transpire. It was through this hands on experience that I glimpsed how and why children can and do fall through the cracks and come to harm. Despite public assurance that foster homes are cautiously selected and well-monitored, I know otherwise. No visual inspection was ever performed on my residence. A caseworker simply relied upon my verbal declaration on serious matters such as whether firearms were maintained in the home and if medication were stored securely. The children were initially left with me and the worker chose to leave prior to retrieval of criminal record check clearances available in an adjoining room because it was a Friday afternoon and they wanted to be done for the day. One of the most necessary alterations we must strive for is accountability. CHILDREN’S LIVES DEPEND UPON ADULTS TO TRULY PRESERVE THEIR BEST INTERESTS. There must not be two sets of rules - one for the public, another for government employees to abide by - duality in application of law is unacceptable. In closing, I leave you to read a difficult letter. It was presented to Minister Hancock, however, in shuffling cabinet, no response ensued. As successor, I hand this off to you. And, please remember, while these statements are hard facts to accept, they are truthful and are not intended as a personal attack. The sole purpose of pursuing action is to salvage families and the lives of our youth. And, to honour the 741 who fell. I look forward to speaking with and working alongside you. Sincerely, Velvet Martin
Velvet Martin's insight:
Dear Mister Hancock:  You proclaim that it has been  "hurtful" to hear revelations about how poorly the foster care system  in Alberta is functioning. Let me tell YOU what pain is:  Watching one's  8-year-old son, take it upon himself to write a letter of "good-bye" to his  sister; walk up to a podium to courageously read the  tribute aloud amongst hundreds of onlookers also mourning; return to  his seat and collapse into one's arms, sobbing so intensely that the chapel is  wracked with the sound of his distress... And, feel completely inadequate  because nothing, not a thing can be done to alleviate such utter hurt within  that small child. (Our youngest son was 8 years at the time of loss of his  sister - however, suffering helplessly alongside were our 3 other young  boys ages 10, 12 and 15.)  To know true pain is to believe in the expertise  of ministry representatives who direct to what would become an only daughter's  descent into hell and be helpless to retrieve her because the  caseworker refused to acknowledge the situation was amiss.  Pain is pleading with a caseworker, urging one's child presentation for medical  consultation and being denied. Instead, told that I was only "one voice" in  my daughter's life (blocking legal right as one's child guardian); coaxing  that my child was routinely being taken for medical examination and the  placement well-monitored... Hurt consists of having every worry confirmed  ten-fold as one finally gains access to the truth with medical and educational  documentation demonstrating that others, too, had been voicing concern to  no avail. AND, find out that the caseworker who had made reassurances  had, in reality, not laid eyes on my child for 14 months.   Pain stems  from being failed by a system in which the entire purpose for one's child to be  under ministry direction was to receive extraordinary medical  supports. Pain exudes with revelation that the caseworker had not  followed through in duty to ensure that my child was presented for medical  intervention as directed; instead relying upon word of mouth of a foster  person who failed to take my child to a physician for periods lapsing 3  years. You want to know what is also hurtful?  Learning that the  social-worker now holds the position of Provincial Criminal Record Checker.  What  is painful is standing in a courtroom while having to serve as legal counsel for  one's own deceased child because none was made available to represent her voice  within a Public Fatality Inquiry; which, by the way, I - the mother - needed to  strenuously pursue because the Province refused to do so on its own. Pain is  hearing how one's child's remains - sample of brain tissue - was not  preserved for evidence. Hurt is, despite severity of proceedings, listening to  the laughter and watching the smirks of a foster female who shows no remorse for  failing to follow-through to seek medical attention for my now dead child. Pain,  worry and horror stems from knowledge that the same individual continues to  foster other medically fragile children.  So, Minister Dave Hancock... If you are  "hurt", so be it; this is the truth. If you wish to alleviate yourself from  pain, take action to prevent other deaths immediately. Start with admitting a  problem exists. Denial utterly demoralizes and diminishes the beauty of the life  of a child... To know true pain is to witness a beautiful little girl blossom  within mere months of exposure within natural family home amongst siblings who  loved her. To see a child gain 12 pounds - or in better context - 20% of  her body mass as she grew from a 50 pound shell in weight at 13 years when she  left the foster system. To hear a child begin to speak after being  non-verbal her entire life. To watch the pride in that lovely face as she became  self-reliant at using the bathroom following a life-time of incontinency.  Witnessing all the gains which took place in so short a time and then watching  it all crumble with her sudden collapse. Pain is to always wonder how  far one's little girl may have gone in her individual growth had she  opportunity to grow into adulthood. Pain is never being able to hold or smell or  smile with one's precious child.  Hurt is seeing the loss extend to loved ones,  affecting health so intensely that within 2 months a grandfather's heart  failed... Without the experience of closure through judicial accountability,  loss of granddaughter resulted in the other grandfather's collapse. Next,  an only aunt/Godmother would succumb and a grandmother also died; leaving one  remaining grandmother. My mother, who suffers from dementia. Pain  is viewing one's mother trapped continuously in a state of  anxiety, asking over and over and over whether anyone has been held accountable  for the death of her only granddaughter and unable to bring her relief.  Mr.  Hancock, your hurt pales in comparison. That you would publicly use that  particular terminology - comparing one's "hurt" at attention finally being  duly given to 145 children who died under Provincial direction - can only  be viewed as an effort to detract from accountability at the exposure to  truth. Frankly, on behalf of all who survive the deaths of those young lives, it  leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. The loss that I describe is but one family's  tragedy, imagine how many lives are destroyed stemming from those 145 children  lost? I feel you ought to be deeply ashamed of a Ministry that refuses to  acknowledge that a problem exists or apologize for those losses of vulnerable  lives. Instead of saving face, please strive to save our most vulnerable.  Sincerely,  Velvet Martin, mom of Samantha  angel
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Velvet Martin's comment, March 5, 8:43 PM
http://www.edmontonjournal.com/news/many+calls+does+take+system/9216995/story.html
Velvet Martin's comment, March 24, 6:31 PM
http://edmonton.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=312188 Dear Premier Hancock, since you ignored me as Minister of Children's Services (aka: Human Services) - perhaps now in your role as Provincial Leader, you will have the courtesy of responding?
Velvet Martin's comment, March 24, 6:32 PM
People have been asking my opinion whether I am hopeful for the Province upon resignation of Premier Redford since this led to Deputy Minister taking on the role. I will confine sentiments which would be far too frank. Simplistically, focus was shifted in an attempt to garner sympathy for the System rather than the Children and the speaker is now our Premier. Instead, I will respond as a query: Does anyone believe that leadership will improve where the person who was Minister of Human Services revealed 741 fatalities occurred, yet minimized lost lives?
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Conspiracy Theorists Get Paper Withdrawn Through Bogus Legal Threat | I Fucking Love Science

Conspiracy Theorists Get Paper Withdrawn Through Bogus Legal Threat | I Fucking Love Science | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
A peer reviewed journal has withdrawn a paper on conspiracy theory belief amongst opponents of climate science. Not as a result of any factual errors or failure to meet academic standards, but because of the threat of defamation. As serious as this is, concern is even higher because legal advice holds that the paper is not defamatory and any law suit would fail. The withdrawal is a win for those hostile to climate change research and other conspiracy theorists in general, who in the lead author's words, “routinely bombard journals demanding papers be withdrawn.”  
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Stand Together Ontario

Stand Together Ontario | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Poverty and income injustice is a global event  - Stop it now
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Wildrose calls for debate in deaths of Alberta children in care

Wildrose calls for debate in deaths of Alberta children in care | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Alberta's Wildrose opposition is calling for an emergency debate in the legislature to identify the number of deaths of children in provincial care since 1999.
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Womens Justice Center

Womens Justice Center | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
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Rising disparity seen in rate of Native American kids in foster care

Rising disparity seen in rate of Native American kids in foster care | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Native American children now account for nearly 1 of every 10 foster children in Nebraska, according to figures released Thursday by the Foster Care Review Office.
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Transparency International Canada calls for better protection for whistleblowers

Better statutory protection for whistleblowers, an enhanced focus by law enforcement on domestic bribery,and public agencies introducing strict sanctions for corruption offenders are among 11 recommendations included in a report released on December 9, 2013, by Transparency International Canada
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XWiki - ChildrensPain - Pain in children with developmental disabilities: What to do when everything fails?

XWiki - ChildrensPain - Pain in children with developmental disabilities:  What to do when everything fails? | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
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Alberta government releases public inquiry in death of Samantha Martin

Alberta government releases public inquiry in death of Samantha Martin | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
The results of a fatality inquiry into the death of a 13-year-old Alberta girl were released by the province Friday. Samantha Martin died in December 2006 in Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital.
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‘I think police are wrong,’ says Calgary man on alleged negligence in grandson’s death

‘I think police are wrong,’ says Calgary man on alleged negligence in grandson’s death | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Police and a Calgary family are at odds over allegations a woman was negligent by failing to seek proper medical treatment in the death of her son.Ryan Alexander Lovett, 7, died in hospital in March after suffering seizures inside a…
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Velvet Martin's comment, April 6, 7:09 PM
<br><br>Same Province, both children suffer cardiac arrest. Samantha Martin, known rare medical condition is referred for a decade by professionals for medical intervention for suspected seizure activity yet foster woman chooses to deny consultation declaring she hasn't seen any herself. Three years pass without access to a physician whatsoever; for 14 months a caseworker fails to visit the child and ensure medical follow-through transpires. NO ONE IS HELD LIABLE. Duality in application of law is unforgivable, intolerable! One set of rules for the public, another for those employed by government? Children are being fatally failed!
Velvet Martin's comment, April 6, 7:09 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSHWya9SGnM
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Family Love is Stronger - YouTube

A beautiful family of 5 came together in adoption! Jonathan 23 has autism and down syndrome and was abandoned at a local Montreal Hospital. Charissa 17 has a...
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Alberta Teacher's Association on Gay-Straight Alliances

Alberta Teacher's Association on Gay-Straight Alliances | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
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No Acknowledgement, No Apology, No Amendments - NOT Going Away! "Fatal Care: The deaths of Alberta children in government care"

No Acknowledgement, No Apology, No Amendments - NOT Going Away! "Fatal Care: The deaths of Alberta children in government care" | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
An investigation into the deaths of Alberta children in government care by the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald,An investigation into the deaths of Alberta children in government care by the Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald
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B.C. Has Canada's 1st Seniors Care Advocate

B.C. Has Canada's 1st Seniors Care Advocate | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
VICTORIA - British Columbia has appointed Canada's first seniors' advocate, but the Opposition New Democrats maintain the government missed the opportunity to have a truly independent champion for seniors.Isobel Mackenzie was appointed Wednesday by Health Minister Terry Lake to head the Office of the Seniors Advocate, fulfilling a government promise to ensure a strong voice for the province's 700,000 elderly residents.Lake said Mackenzie, a Victoria care administrator with 20 years' experience working with and serving the elderly, can help create and deliver policies and services that meet the complex and numerous needs of seniors."I will not shrink from the responsibility I have to advocate for the seniors in this province," she told a news conference in Vancouver.Mackenzie, who is also a former Victoria school trustee, said the Seniors Advocate Act ensures she must advise the government in an independent manner. She said the law states she must meet with the health minister at least once a year and that her report to the minister must be made public.New Democrat health critic Katrine Conroy said she supports the creation of the seniors' advocate position, but the post requires more teeth to allow the advocate to work more independently of government.
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Misapprehension.com

Misapprehension.com | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Exposing the lies of the Ministry of children and family development as well as exposing the corruption in the family provincial court
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Protecting Canadian Children 2013 Conference with Velvet Martin, Founder of Samantha's Law - YouTube

Protecting Canadian Children 2013 Conference Ontario, Canada. Artist, Mary Graziano, presentation to Velvet Martin, Founder of Samantha's Law.
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Wildrose claims political interference in information request involving premier

Wildrose claims political interference in information request involving premier | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
The Opposition Wildrose say there was political interference in the processing of its information requests related to the awarding of a controversial tobacco-litigation contract by Premier Alison Redford.
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World Gathering ~ NDAA ~ Protecting Canadian Children

World Gathering ~ NDAA ~ Protecting Canadian Children | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Sallie O. Elkordy, Host http://BillionToddlerMarchForSurvival.blogspot.com http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1eFN3Itz_W4 Michael Irving http://www.WorldGathering.net Jeff Lewis http://www.patriotcoalition.com/ Velvet Martin http://www.protectingcanadianchildren.ca/
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Natural Health News, Natural Remedies and Wellness Tips: Australia Determined To Forcibly Vaccinate By Intentional and Controlled Release of Aerosolized GMO Vaccine

Natural Health News, Natural Remedies and Wellness Tips: Australia Determined To Forcibly Vaccinate By Intentional and Controlled Release of Aerosolized GMO Vaccine | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
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Windsor man faces nine child porn charges

Windsor man faces nine child porn charges | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
A 55-year-old man who lives in Windsor's west end faces an array of charges related to child pornography. On Monday, officers raided a residence in...
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Alberta lawyers warn to watch out for phone fraud

Alberta lawyers warn to watch out for phone fraud | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Don’t wire money if you get a call from legal aid asking to send money elsewhere.
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Criminal Negligence Causing Death - YouTube

A Calgary women has been charged with criminal negligence causing death and failing to provide the necessaries of life following the death of her seven-year-...
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Velvet Martin's comment, April 6, 7:12 PM
How does this differ - much less be considered more wrong than the case of Samantha Martin where no one was ever held culpable for failure to present for medical care? http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-girl-13-failed-by-foster-care-inquiry-finds-1.1133569 The sole difference is one is the natural family while the others are department employees involved.
Velvet Martin's comment, April 6, 7:19 PM
http://metronews.ca/news/edmonton/426170/alberta-government-releases-public-inquiry-in-death-of-samantha-martin/
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Covering Up The Deaths Of Foster Kids - Baby LK Report For December 1st 2013 - YouTube

Covering Up The Deaths Of Foster Kids - LK Report For December 1st 2013 For these stories and all the latest dirt on the child protective industry visit http...
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Wells: Let’s support all our children to thrive

Wells: Let’s support all our children to thrive | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
The Calgary Herald published an editorial that many thought must be a delayed April Fool’s joke. After all, same-sex marriage has been legalized in Canada since 2005, and according to the latest research poll, 77 per cent of Albertans now support equal marriage.
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Dave Hancock: Vulnerable children need all Albertans to care

Dave Hancock: Vulnerable children need all Albertans to care | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
This week’s Edmonton Journal and Calgary Herald series has raised a great deal of emotions for Albertans, MLAs and the many Albertans who work to get the best results for children across our province each and every day.
Velvet Martin's insight:

I CALL BULLSHIT. Where Leadership fails to acknowledge its harm, nor make amends to its victims! http://www.calgaryherald.com/opinion/op-ed/Opinion+Vulnerable+children+need+Albertans+care/9230199/story.html

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Winnipeg Harvest gets $1K in baby formula from 10-year-old

Winnipeg Harvest gets $1K in baby formula from 10-year-old | Family-Centred Care Practice | Scoop.it
Winnipeg Harvest has received more than $1,000 worth of much-needed infant formula from a 10-year-old boy who's taking the cause to heart.
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