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To Our Children Section
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TOMA
Foundation pour
Enfants Brûlés

voicecover.jpg (11139 bytes)The passion of two men is being felt by burned children in Canada Gilles Mercier and Francois Sourdif's vision for helping burned children became a reality in April I 997 and now its the victims of these tragic events who reap the rewards their tireless efforts efforts.

We pay fur anything a child needs involving post-hospital care." said these two co-founding Directors of the TOMA Foundation for Burned Children. "Payments made by the Foundation are made exclusively and directly to suppliers of gods and services for the young patient rather through any administrative intermediate source.

In order to consider the realisation and continuity of its national charitable programs, TOMA must obtain and maintain an annual minimum of $ 250,000 and is well on its way to obtaining it. The first year (6 months) total reached $56,200 in 1998 the number climbed to $222,000 and last year reached $21 8.200. The co- founding directors are convinced of reaching their goal of $250,000 in 2000.

TO-MA

The inspiration to start TOMA begun when Mercier, was designing a web site for a Quebec company and stumbled across a website for bum victims.

"I don't have children but my goddaughter (Marie-Philippe, whose first name forms the MA of TOMA. The "TO" part of TOMA comes from the name "Tommy", who is Francois Sourdif's grandson.) was a toddler and I started wondering about what was out there if something happened to her." he said "Where would she go? What would she do? There was little united support structure for these children in Canada. Once they are out of the hospital they are on their own."

The two men soon realised the inherent lack of support for these children and then came the final straw.

"You take one of the burned kids in your arms and it is game over," said Mercier. "Spend just an hour in public with a burned child and you'll understand every thing."

The non-profit, federally registered organisation, which started in Quebec and expanded into Ontario is now making inroads into New Brunswick.

"There are some strong organisations out in western Canada that support this cause so we will concentrate on areas where there is the greatest need," he said.

TOMA now has several other full and part-time agents who are trained to provide full answers to all questions that come up at the venues across the provinces.

"We make sure every dollar of official donations goes directly to the child's welfare since we are accountable," said Mercier. "We even go to various corporate suppliers we are using and ask for a discount - for — the kids. We’ve learned you have to squeeze and shake to stretch the money.

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