Helping sick kids one bowl at a time

Using his carpentry skills to support child cancer patients

With a child’s scraped knee, the “boo-boo” can be cured with a kiss and comforting words. But for kids with cancer it’s not so simple—treatment requires months or years of care and lots of hardships along the way.

Nirmal Singh Bhogal, an 80-year-old grandfather, is a devout Sikh dedicated to the act of Seva (“selfless service”) and has volunteered with health-related causes for years.

When the pandemic halted these activities, Nirmal decided to raise funds for charity. He put his well-seasoned carpentry skills to use in crafting and selling beautiful wooden bowls, and Baba’s BooBoo Bowls was born.

The name comes from the “boo-boos” Nirmal hopes to help cure in child cancer patients, as well as the imperfections in the scrap wood he uses to create the bowls.

With his grandson Mehar and daughter-in-law Ranjit, Nirmal has been donating the proceeds to the oncology department at BC Children’s Hospital. They’ve raised $62,000 so far, with a target of $75,000.

Having known people who have suffered from cancer, Nirmal feels a personal connection to the cause. “I feel happy to do something for somebody,” he said.


This article was originally featured in the Fall 2021 issue of Shine magazine.

Shine Fall 2021 | Download the PDF

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