It’s always been tough being a kid.
But in recent years, it’s gotten even tougher, said the chairman of yesterday’s Bell Walk for Kids Help Phone.
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While the basic issues revolving around being a youth haven’t changed — bullying, dating and problems at home, for example — kids these days are also growing up faster in general, said Rob Dekker.
“You have 17, 18-year-olds going to university and expected to be adults and look after themselves. That’s a big thing they have to jump on,” Dekker said.
About 1,000 walkers raised $215,000 for Kids Help Phone — a national, anonymous phone and online counselling service — at the annual event, making Ottawa the No. 3 fundraiser in Canada, after Toronto and Montreal.
“Ottawa is one of our key sites,” said Kids Help Phone regional director Jenny Yuen.
Kids Help Phone gets two million calls and online posts a year, 87,000 of which came from Ottawa in 2007, said Dekker.
Ottawa’s Amanda Fynn and daughters Susan, 10, and Chelsea, 6, have been doing the walk for five years.
“The kids get excited about helping other kids,” said Fynn.