“If somebody don’t have no food I just buy food for them.”
Maya is in kindergarten at C.C. Loughlin Elementary. When the school sent out the memo for its annual Thanksgiving vegetable sale she decided to take money from her piggybank to buy 10 bags and donate them to All Saints Anglican Church, which will be doing a Thanksgiving meal for 120 people.
But the little girl with a big heart didn’t stop there.
She put a video on her mom Rikki Butt’s Rikki N Maya Facebook page asking others to help out and has raised enough money to buy all the vegetables the church will need.
That’s 100 pounds of potatoes, 35 large turnips, 35 pounds of carrots and 19 large cabbages.
Rikki said all the vegetables will be purchased through the school’s sale and she’s contacted the farmer to get the items bagged together instead of in the 10-pound bags it normally does up for individual use. Rikki said if the cabbages are not part of the bags they’ll purchase them separately.
Since she was two, Maya has been asking friends who attend her birthday parties to bring food donations for the church instead of gifts.
And she’s not stopping with her food drive. Rikki has set up a bank account for her and any extra money collected will go into it to buy Christmas gifts for a family in need that she’ll sponsor through the church and to do other things for C.C. Loughlin and the school she attends in Nunavut while her mother works there.
Maya said helping people makes her feel good and Rikki feels she really understands what she’s doing.
“She understands it’s time to give and people should help each other out,” Rikki said. “I think it’s just important to share that with people so that other people may grasp onto the concept.”
It turns out Maya’s generosity has inspired someone else.
When Sabrina Ellsworth saw Maya’s video she shared it to her Facebook wall.
“And I thought, well my goodness if this little girl can do it, taking money out of her piggybank, then surely to God people who actually work in agriculture to support not only the industry in our schools but also local farmers and our community, can too.
So she put it out to her co-workers with the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources to also purchase bags of vegetables to be donated to the Bay of Islands Food Bank Network.
Ellsworth said it’s been in the news quite often about food banks being empty and the statistics on the needs are alarming.
“There’s a whole population out there that no matter how hard we work in agriculture that we’ll never be able to help because they just can’t afford the healthy food.”
She and a lot of her co-workers are carrying around vegetable orders now for their children’s schools and don’t necessarily need to buy for themselves.
“But we can definitely donate.”
As of Tuesday the number of bags that will be donated to the food bank was at 33.
How to donate to Maya’s Mission