Caven Wilcox

Anonymous donor kickstarts pay it forward fund for Langford kindergym

Fund aims to relieve stress for families facing financial challenges

Fall can often be a tough time for parents, as their pocketbooks begin to take a hit with post-summer expenses. It is often a time when families start to get into new routines and sometimes need a place to work off the extra stress.

Ruban Rebalkin and his wife, Faith, took over operations of Tumblebums Play Centre and Toy Shop in Langford last month. After running the centre for about a week, Rebalkin noticed a few parents had their cards declined when it was time to pay. “You could see they were embarrassed,” he said.

In an attempt to console some of these parents and caregivers, Rebalkin turned to the company’s Facebook page. His heartfelt post to parents was a simple message that it happens to everyone and offered kudos to parents for getting their children away from a screen.

“Your bank account, like your energy, is drained because you invested all that you are and have to raise these tiny humans to become good big ones. Your bank account doesn’t reflect you, never will. We totally get it, promise,” he wrote.

“I just left it at that,” Rebalkin said in an interview, adding that he didn’t expect any sort of interaction on the page other than maybe a few likes.

But a childhood friend saw the post and reacted in a big way. “I hadn’t even announced yet that we had taken over,” Rebalkin said, but there was this person he hadn’t seen in years.

That friend had grown up in a single parent household and understood how tough it can sometimes be to make ends meet, a fact that sometimes meant having a payment card declined in a store. “He remembered what it was like as a kid going through that,” Rebalkin said.

In the hopes of preventing other children and parents from finding themselves in a similar situation, that friend came into the store with a cash donation to start a pay-it-forward fund. The money will cover the cost of a child’s play time when a card is declined, or, if someone knows ahead of time they can’t pay, they can also request to use the fund.

Parents can come back and put money in the fund when they can, Rebalkin said, or they can pay it forward in a different way. “If someone is encouraged to do something nice here or somewhere else it would be great,” he said. Other individuals are also welcome to add to the fund as a way to do something nice for someone.

After starting the fund, Rebalkin took to Facebook again. While the donor didn’t want any recognition for the good deed, Rebalkin wanted parents to know they had once less thing to worry about, at least while at Tumblebums. The post received a lot of attention and a few comments praising the act and the idea.

“Over 100 likes isn’t a lot if you’re Justin Bieber, but it’s a lot for Tumblebums,” he said. “It’s been used a couple times after that.”

The worst case scenario is that the fund runs out, but Rebalkin said any good deed done in the meantime is more than worth it. Tumble Bums is at 133-735 Goldstream Ave.


Just Posted

North Saanich woman arrested after police pursuit, alleged abduction at elementary school

Two police officers were injured and one police vehicle damaged

Victoria resident faces discrimination from BC Transit since transitioning to a wheelchair

Daniel Sands says they are often not allowed on buses, even when there is room

Single dad reaches out to Greater Victoria community to help kids celebrate Christmas

A young family was overwhelmed with the warm response from strangers

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Trudeau sets 2025 deadline to remove B.C. fish farms

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Indigenous mother wins $20,000 racial discrimination case against Vancouver police

Vancouver Police Board ordered to pay $20,000 and create Indigenous-sensitivity training

Suspect steals 150 pairs of cosmetic contacts from Nanaimo party supply store

Incident happened at Pattie’s Party Palace on Rutherford Road on Thursday

Most Read