St. Thomas boy cancels birthday to build up donations for city's homeless
ST. THOMAS, Ont. -- After seeing some of London’s homeless in tents near the Salvation Army Centre of Hope, nine-year-old Izaiah Vedd wanted to do something.
"We were driving back from London, and we saw all the homeless all along the street,” he tells CTV News.
His father, Brad Hansen, picks up the story, also witnessed by Izaiah’s 11-year-old sister, Faith Hansen.
“And we saw all the tents along Wellington Road. When we got home, they started asking why they are sleeping in tents, so we explained."
Izaiah and Faith, both of St.Thomas, then jumped into action, and with their parents help created an online campaign.
It caught fire and attracted the support of some Elgin County businesses and the children’s schools.
Now, four weeks later, Izaiah and Faith’s efforts proved to be enough to pack two SUVs full of new goods for the Inn Out of the Cold shelter in St. Thomas.
Their efforts also raised more than $2,600.
But it was Izaiah's pledge that truly inspired, "I cancelled my birthday to help with homeless, so I could get all my birthday gifts and give to the homeless," he says.
The gifts of cash, food and supplies will help support the up to 30 people who seek shelter each night at the Inn Out of the Cold, according to its Executive Director Lori Fitzgerald.
"It's actually inspiring to see what our younger generation can do, and how they can be the catalyst to spur our community adults forward."