Young activists are taking the initiative to help the homeless in Canada stay warm this winter.
When you’re inspired to “be the change,” you just have to get out there and take action – no matter your age. A group of kids in Canada is doing just this, and inspiring many in the process.
CBC News reports that activist Tara Smith-Atkins, her eight-year-old daughter, and seven of her daughter’s friends took to the streets to dress up street poles in Halifax to help homeless folks this winter.
It all began when Smith-Atkins was fretting over how to help the homeless stay warm during the coming winter months. After some brainstorming, she began asking her community for coat donations and winter items still in good shape.
It didn’t take long for people to respond. Over a period of two weeks, bags of winter coats, hats, and more started flowing in.
By November 15, the family had plenty of items to distribute. Because friends and family were coming to town to celebrate her daughter’s eighth birthday, Tara figured that event would also be the perfect opportunity to ‘dress up’ the town and share the donated goods.
She, her eight-year-old daughter and seven of her daughter’s friends gathered winter coats and mittens and tied them to street poles throughout the city for homeless individuals to claim. Each item had a tag that read “I am not lost! If you are stuck out in the cold, please take me to keep warm!”
Their compassionate efforts did not go unnoticed. Photos of the fashionable poles soon began circulating on social media, with people wondering who was behind the kind gesture.
“They definitely learned the importance of it. When we got back in the car after an hour on the street, they were all freezing and crying for the heater to be on and complaining because they were cold. And they were bundled up.”
Smith-Atkins told CBC that every year she reaches out to her community for donations of coats, and is already planning a coat drive for next year. She wants to get the word out ahead of time so people who need warm clothes can track them down. In addition, she wants to add $5 fast food gift cards with each coat so the recipient can get a hot meal.
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