It’s your eighth birthday and you’ve just raked in $300 of birthday cash. What’s the first thing you do?

If you’re Swayde Waters, you donate it to STARS.

“I’ve always liked to help other people,” said Swayde. “It makes me feel good.”

And if you’re Scotia Waters, one of Swayde’s younger sisters, you do the same thing with the $485 you get on your birthday just a few months later.

Scotia delivered her STARS gift with a hand-drawn card.

“I wanted to donate to a place where it helped a bunch of people,” she said.

A couple of years later, Swayde and Scotia teamed up with their little sister Saryn to run a lemonade stand. Spoiler alert: The resulting $45 was donated to STARS.

Saryn, who was five years old at the time, has been involved in a variety of charitable efforts in her young life.

“Like, if you had surgery and you really, really needed help? I’m just there,” she grinned.

She sure is. The $830 they’ve generously given to STARS goes a long way. Here are several important items STARS regularly needs that the Waters’ donation would cover:

  • Oxygen tank refill – $25
  • Medical diagnostic testing – $100
  • Flight suit – $325
  • Fuel the helicopter for an annual check ride, a mandatory test with a certified instructor – $350
  • Helicopter maintenance check – $450
  • NAV Canada software for one year for one helicopter – $500
  • Community educator training session – $750

Thanks to the Waters kids and donations like theirs, STARS is able to continue offering time and hope to critically ill and injured patients.

To see other ways donations are used, please visit