One girl's generous Christmas wish
This Christmas, instead of getting presents, seven-year-old Kennedy Foss asked her family and friends to donate snowsuits and winter accessories to CPAN's Operation Snowsuit program.
It’s rare to find a seven-year-old who says they don’t need any more toys, but Pembroke’s Kennedy Foss is no ordinary girl.
This Christmas, Kennedy’s biggest wish is to help other kids stay warm throughout Renfrew County’s harsh winter weather.
In mid-November, Kennedy asked her family to set up a Snowsuit Giving Tree in their house to collect snowsuits for the Child Poverty Action Network (CPAN) of Renfrew County’s Operation Snowsuit program.
Rather than giving her toys and other gifts for Christmas, Kennedy asked her family and friends to put the money towards purchasing snowsuits for kids in need.
“Instead of giving me Christmas presents, I asked my family and friends to get snowsuits, hats, mittens, scarves and anything else that can keep people warm in the winter,” said Kennedy.
This marks the second occasion that Kennedy has independently engaged in a charitable mission to support her local community – as it was just last February that she asked her family and friends to donate to the local food bank instead of giving her birthday presents.
“I just think that she's incredibly empathetic,” said her mom, Shauna Foss. “I love her empathetic and giving soul.”
To ensure that the Snowsuits Giving Tree was a success, Kennedy used her talents and creativity to spread the word about her charitable project to people all across the local community.
She created a video which her mom shared on Facebook and she created English and French flyers which she posted at her school and day care, Ecole Equinoxe and Wise Owl Day Care.
“I was amazed that whenever we posted the video on Facebook, there were so many people – even strangers – who wanted to contribute,” said Shauna.
After one month of hard work and perseverance, Kennedy collected more than 30 snowsuits and several bags of winter hats and other accessories.
CPAN executive director Lyn Smith expressed that she’s blown away by Kennedy’s selfless and kindhearted act and she encourages other kids to follow in the seven-year-old’s footsteps.
“It’s things like this that really brings awareness to the need in our community, because a lot of people are unaware that there are children in a rich country like Canada who are walking around in Spring jackets and running shoes with no soles on in this winter weather,” said Smith. “Kennedy is a good example that we can all follow. I love it when children help other children, when they understand that there's a need for their peers. We've often been blessed with a young child who has a lemonade stand or a snowsuit drive and I treasure this more than I would a big corporate donation because it's coming right from the heart and it's hard work.”