Challenged by his teacher to conduct a service project that would benefit the community or his family, while practicing social distancing, 13-year-old Rowan Simpson stepped up.
The Muskoka Montessori School student decided he wanted to support The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation by collecting food, clothing or monetary donations to help families struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I heard that they were still collecting food to help those struggling during the pandemic,” said Simpson via email. “I understood that during these difficult times many people would not be working and more demand would be placed on the food bank and its resources. I decided to ask our friends and family through email if they would consider donating food or money to the food bank. We let people know a day and time we would be collecting and my mom agreed to drive me around to pick up all the donations that people could just leave outside for us to get.”
Simpson’s mother is a member of the Rotary Club of Huntsville and that’s who he reached out to for support.
“I think it is important for us all to help one another all the time, but especially during difficult times,” he said. “This pandemic has made life very difficult for many families so I felt that anything we could do to make things a bit easier for them would be good.”
In the email Simpson sent prior to collecting the donations, he asked for people to clearly mark the donations for the food bank and said they would be happy to say “hi”, but from a safe distance.
This is Simpson’s first food drive, but not his first experience fundraising to helping others.
“Our class is currently supporting an organization called Save The Rain, which helps to build sustainable water systems in villages in Tanzania. Due to the pandemic this project has been put on hold but we hope to wrap it up with a big Walk for Water, which was originally supposed to be in June, in September. I have also been on two humanitarian trips to the Dominican Republic with my family and an organization called Hispanola Humanitarian Assistance and Relief Team (HHART), where I helped support my school’s sister school down there.”
Simpson collected the donations for The Table food bank—250 lbs of food and $1,230—on Friday evening with help from his mother.
“A small act of kindness can go a long way to helping someone in need or even just making someone’s day brighter,” he said. “I would just like to mention that there are 15 students in my class that are all doing a service project either to help their family out or the community. I would like to challenge every student in Muskoka to do one small act of kindness to help their family or someone in the community and our community will come out of this stronger.”
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