December 11, 2020
After volunteering at Rotary's Sparkles in the Park for the past three years by helping take down lights on New Year's Day to earn high school volunteer hours, teenagers Kaylyn and Amber Proudfoot became Friends of Rotary because they were so impressed by the many charitable causes that Rotary supports.
Now 19 years old, the girls were diagnosed with autism and anxiety at a very young age. Through ongoing communications with Rotary member Terrie Jarvis, it became evident that the girls are passionate about many different causes, that they are driven by their heartfelt desire to make the world a better place, and that their fundraising abilities are astonishing. In the past 10 years, they've raised and donated some $30,000, with $3,000 of that being within this difficult Covid year.
On Friday, December 11, 2020, Mayor Cam Guthrie presented Kaylyn and Amber with a certificate of appreciation from the City of Guelph for their extraordinary community service, coinciding with their latest charitable donation to Rotary of $300.45 which was designated by them for specific programs and accepted on behalf of Rotary by Terrie.
Kaylyn and Amber, we are so proud to have you as Friends of Rotary!
You might have read about these wonderful girls in a recent article in Guelph Today, here.

Guelph twins show you're never too young to care

Amber and Kaylyn Proudfoot raised over $3,000 this year for various causes
By:  Ariel Deutschmann
Twin sisters from Guelph have a shared passion for giving back to the community.

Amber and Kaylyn Proudfoot, 19, have spent almost a decade raising over $30,000 to support various charities.

Recently, the two donated a cheque for $318 to the St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation for the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) program, but it’s only one of many charities they’ve helped this year.

In 2020, the sisters donated $2,250 to National Service Dogs, $345 to the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides and $370 to the Guelph Food Bank. They also made donations to the Rotary Club of Guelph, Sparkles in the Park and the World Wildlife Foundation to help with the Australian bush fires.

The sisters say they have a passion for helping others and helping local organizations that are supporting their community.

“We like fundraising for charities because there is a very large need, and me and my sister want to cover some of that need,” says Amber via email. “It bothers us not to be helpful.”

For these two, some of these causes hold a special place within their heart.

Diagnosed with autism and anxiety, Amber and Kaylyn have continued to give back to organizations that helped them when they were younger. One of these organizations is National Service Dogs which provided them with a service dog named Vargo. 

"We both like raising money for these charities because I feel bad for other people in the world and in our community who don't have the same opportunities and help that me and my sister had," explains Kaylyn in the email.

Their philanthropy began in Grade 5, when the two sisters collected food donations for Trick or Eat to support the Guelph Food Bank. 

At 13 they attended a WE Day charity event where they became more interested in giving back. With the WE charity, they raised money for Free the Children. In 2016, they started fundraising for Bracelet of Hope, one of their favourite charities. 

"WE Day and Dr. Zajdlik (Dr. Anne-Marie Zajdlik from Bracelet of Hope) also inspired us both to make a change in the world, and explained to us what kind of struggles other kids in developing countries have." says Kaylyn.

For Bracelet of Hope, they started going door-to-door to raise money and selling bracelets, along with collecting items like pop tabs, scrap metal, scrap keys and empties. In the end they managed to raise between $2,000 to $3,000 for the organization.

“They’re pretty ingenious with what they come up with,” says their mother, Carrie Proudfoot, about how her daughters collect donations, “Every nickel counts.”

Since then, the two also decided to no longer accept Christmas presents, asking families to help them donate to various causes.

“Kindness can be contagious.” says Amber, “Start with one simple thing, swapping out a Christmas gift for a donation to a third world country.”

Next year, the sisters are planning to raise more money for the Rotary Club of Guelph, Guelph Food Bank, National Service Dogs and the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides. They also want to support additional charities, like Kerry’s Place, KidsAbility and World Vision Canada.

Soon, they will begin collecting money to support the Guelph Black Heritage Society and hope to raise $500 for them by the spring of 2021.

Carrie says her daughters often just pick a charity and run with it, and she is amazed with their tenacity to support these organizations once they decide to help.

“I’m glad that they’re good citizens and that’s important to me.”