Lacombe boy celebrates birthday by supporting the local food bank
A Lacombe boy recently decided to celebrate his birthday and raise funds for the local food bank.
“It makes me really happy that my birthday could be used to make a lot of other children and families in Lacombe happy and maybe a little less hungry over the holidays,” said Fenton Adams, 10.
“That’s more important to me than gifts or a big birthday party.”
Fenton’s mother, Tiara, said she and her son had lunch at a local restaurant in mid-November.
They came across a boy who had tried to buy a burger but didn’t have enough money.
Fenton, who is in the 4th grade, asked his mother for help, so she offered to pay for the boy’s dinner.
“He was so grateful and tearful. I then let him order whatever he wanted and it totally made his day. As he left with his food in his hands at about 8:30 that evening, he came over to us and told us how much he appreciated it and that it was the first thing he had eaten in a day and a half.”
Tiara asked the boy, who was barely older than Fenton, if he got anything to eat at school. He denied this and was all the more grateful for the generosity of the family.
“He said, ‘This is going to fill my stomach and it makes me so happy! Thank you very much’.
“When we drove home, both Fenton and I were in tears,” Tiara said. “He has such a giving heart, so he said, ‘You know mum, my birthday is in two weeks and I feel really guilty that I want Lego and parties and a present when some kids in my own town have it do not do. I don’t even have anything to eat.”
Later that night before bed, he had the idea of raising money for his birthday instead of asking for gifts.
And so the ‘Hungry Bellies’ Food Bank Fundraiser was started.
“We contacted the Tafel and visited them. First of all they were shocked that this was something a 10 year old boy would do! They also gladly accepted such a donation. So a few days later we posted on Facebook and reached out to family, friends and neighbors.
Fenton also got to work, scouring the neighborhood and others the family knew for additional liquor bottles and also for donations of winter gear. “So that’s how it happened.”
In just 12 days, he raised $1,295 through the bottle drive and fundraising from friends, neighbors and family. He was also able to collect four large sacks of winter gear.
Tiara also noted that with the help and a very generous rebate from Lacombe Sobey’s Joe Tait, Fenton was able to deliver more than $1,600 worth of groceries (almost 800 pounds of groceries) to the Lacombe Food Bank.
Initially, Fenton’s goal was to raise $1,000, but thanks to excellent community support, he was able to surpass that amount.
For her part, Tiara couldn’t be prouder of her boy, adding that he’s always had a generous heart.
“It wasn’t out of character, but it’s definitely the greatest gesture he’s ever made. He’s always the first to offer to shovel a neighbor’s sidewalk and he’s always thinking of other kids,” she explained.
How quickly the whole campaign started was a wonderful surprise for the family as well.
“I know the last few years have been really tough for many in our community. But the outpouring of generosity and support in our community is never lacking. When the need is raised, dozens of people immediately say they can help or bring something.
“It’s just such a nice feeling to know that you’re in a community where everyone supports everyone else.”
She also pointed out how sobering it really is to see such a need so close to home. “When you also see that a child not much older than your own child is involved, it shakes you. That also hit a nerve with Fen that evening.
“He said, ‘Mom, I don’t think the boy was much older than me.'”
For his part, Fenton is a fulfilled little boy these days and just wants to do more things like this that ultimately make such a huge difference.
When asked again what makes him happy about it, his answer was simple but profound.
“Sharing Blessings – God has blessed me so much that I want to help other people this Christmas.”