Local kids show their giving spirit

Children from Abbotsford and Mission raise funds and food for charity.

Eli Squirrell shows the grocery bags filled with food that he collected for the Mission Christmas Bureau.

Some local kids have demonstrated the true holiday spirit this season by collecting cash and/or food for local charities.

Among them were cousins Seth Davie and Nadia Alcock. The two have birthdays in October, and each decided to host a two-toonie party. The idea is that guests bring two toonies, with one going toward a gift of the child’s choice and the other going to a charity.

In this case, both kids decided to support the food bank.

Abbotsford Food Bank manager Dave Murray then went to the families’ church, Solid Rock Christian Fellowship, to pick up items collected by the congregation, as well as the $80 raised by Seth and Nadia at their birthday parties.

“Both the children felt blessed to help the community, and Nadia has already decided she wants to have another toonie birthday next year,” said Karen Alcock, Nadia’s mom.

Another child with the giving spirit is Eli Squirrell, 10. As part of a social studies project, the home-schooled student chose to inspire people to help those who are less fortunate.

He decided to convince 20 to 25 families or friends to fill a bag with food for the Mission Christmas Bureau, but being an environmental steward, he didn’t want to use plastic bags.

Instead, he used paper bags that were donated by Fraser Valley Building Supplies. He handed these out with letters attached explaining his goal.

Eli filled three grocery carts with the donated food, and delivered them on Friday (Dec. 13) to the Christmas Bureau.

Julia Plastow of Abbotsford (holding money in photo at left) turned her charitable nature toward helping the SPCA.

Julia had read news articles about an abused dog, Napoleon, who had been rescued by the SPCA, which was asking for donations to help cover the surgeries he required.

She decided to forego gifts for her 11th birthday party on Saturday, Dec. 14 in exchange for donations for the Abbotsford SPCA shelter. A total of $100 was collected.

“When I read the story about Napoleon, I thought he looked like such a nice dog, and I was really sad that he had such a sad life so I wanted to help him. I love animals and I don’t understand how people can be cruel to them,” Julia said.  She wants to keep the tradition going for all her future birthday parties.

Meanwhile, a group of youth bowlers helped boost donations to the cancer ward at BC Children’s Hospital.

One of the bowlers, Carlene Strangeway, approached Gene Latray, program director for Youth Bowling Canada at Galaxy Bowl in Abbotsford. She had lost a family member to cancer a few weeks ago and asked Latray if something could be done to raise funds for cancer research.

The youth bowlers collected donations of items for a gift basket, and tickets were sold for a raffle.

A total of $200 was raised, and Carlene (in photo at left with Cherie Spence of BC Children’s Hospital) and Latray visited Children’s Hospital on Dec. 16 to donate the funds.

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