Different island children find common goal of helping those in need
LANGFORD -- Mila is skipping on her way to tell Santa what she wants for Christmas.
“A Cinderella dress, some high heels and rings,” the three-year-old smiles, before mentioning a unicorn with a Santa hat too.
Mila says she’d also like — and apparently this part is serious, so she suddenly sits cross-legged on the ground, reminding me to be wary of the nearby rocks, “Because dogs pee on rocks” — a scarf and a hat and some shampoo and a toothbrush.
The girl is putting all those things — and much more — into what she calls her “We Care Kit.” Her mom, Jayne, says they’re filling backpacks with essentials to drop off at Our Place Society to support vulnerable members of the community.
“One of the lessons I want to teach Mila is that it’s better to give than receive,” Jayne says, while showing me a video of her daughter packing the bags and then asking if she can add a chocolate bar too. “It was actually her idea, because it’s Christmas, to add a little gift.”
Mila isn’t the only child thinking of others this season.
You may recall a story we did on Oliver — the self-described Kindness Ninja — at the beginning of the pandemic. “[I’m going to] kick the virus’ butt!” the four-year-old said while wearing a red bandana and a big smile. “And karate chop it!”
Now he’s striving to fight homelessness, with his Super Sacks.
“Can you read what it says here?” he asks me, holding up one of the hand-made labels he’s putting on them. He wrote, “You are super so I made this Super Sack because you are in my heart.”
Oliver has filled the sacks with warm clothes, healthy treats and cash.
“The money’s from his piggy bank,” his dad, Tom, says. Oliver placed a couple of Loonies in each sack.
“It was his idea,” says Tom.
Speaking of kids adding thoughtful extras, a Shawnigan Lake girl came up with the idea of including cookies in the food hampers she’s helping to organize.
“We get cookies for people to give out to Santa,” Nikia says.
Every year she fills as many food boxes as her age. Her parents show me pictures of Nikia when she was three standing in front of three overflowing boxes. Last year, she was photographed in the back of a pick-up with eight boxes. But this year, the nine-year-old is on track to fill 20.
“There’s more to Christmas than what’s under the tree,” Nikia says.
All these little kids hope their actions inspire big caring. Which brings us back to Mila, who says giving simply feels good. Then, the three-year-old scrunches up her face in a big smile, starts giggling, and tells me about the unicorn with a Santa hat. Perhaps giving feels even better than receiving that.