Building snowmen has been around as a fun, wintertime activity for a long time. For Saultite Sarah Lewis and her stepson Wyatt and son Russell, they’ve turned the pastime into a way to give back to the community during these times when everyone could use a little more joy.
The family decided to start a “pay-what-you-can snowman building service” that will run for the rest of the season. People can “order” a snowman to be made by Lewis and the kids, or they can gift a snowman to be made for someone who may not be able to make one themselves. Half of the proceeds will go towards SickKids, the charity of Wyatt’s choosing. The other half will be used as a way to teach the children about business and money.
“With Wyatt home from school for the extended shutdown after the holidays, I figured I had better come up with something valuable to do during the week. Spending most of our time outside in the beautiful weather we have been having, we came up with this business idea that could help put some smiles on faces,” Lewis said.
“You feel fairly small in such a big thing that is the pandemic, it’s the whole world, so it’s easy to not feel like you can even make a difference. But every time we build a snowman of our own we get so much enjoyment out of it, so we wanted to share that positivity with others,” she said.
Lewis tried to advertise the snowman business with a post on Facebook, but unfortunately it wasn’t as successful as she had hoped.
“To our dismay we did not get even one message for a snowman. We discussed suggesting an anonymous person ordered a snowman and then putting up some money ourselves for it,” Lewis said. “Ultimately we decided honesty would be best and to use it as a teaching opportunity for Wyatt. That business doesn’t always go as planned but it doesn’t mean you just roll over and give up if it’s something you believe in. Together we decided we would call a couple nursing homes and try to arrange with the Programs department a time that we could come build one for residents to watch. It didn’t have to be about the money raised for charity or any of that. Unfortunately we got a final answer of 'no' across the board.”
Lewis hopes that through this she can at least teach the children that there is no age limit to helping out and to never give up. “You could get a ‘no’ 100 times, and on the 101st try you could get the ‘yes’ you’ve been searching for and it could exceed all of your expectations,” she said.
However, Lewis knows how happy Wyatt would be if they received an order.
“Wyatt would be over the moon. Every single morning Wyatt asks me, ‘do we have any orders for a snowman yet?’”, she said. “Since the beginning we’ve been trying to brainstorm ways that we could help with the pandemic, so I’m glad that we found an idea that Wyatt is super excited about. We’re ready to do the best that we can.”
“I know a couple of families that have to travel back and forth to SickKids. Having to travel to SickKids on top of dealing with the pandemic - I just can’t even imagine. I’m happy with Wyatt’s choice to contribute to SickKids," Lewis said.
If you are interested in ordering a snowman, you can reach Sarah Lewis by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 705 987-6695.