On May 17th, my daughter, Maicee, is turning 9.

Maicee has always been a kind soul. Over the past few weeks since isolation began and her entire world took a somersault, Maicee's kindness and sense of community togetherness have shot to the surface. Despite dealing with her own sadness, Maicee has chosen to make the best of isolation by channeling her emotions into positivity.

Maicee has been working steadily at home in Chesley - collecting donations for families in need, creating a Trees of Love window display,  "so that everyone in the world feels loved and knows they aren't alone". When we were making free art and craft activity bags to help keep local children busy at home, Maicee was the first to wake up. She refused to sleep-in so she could place the bags outside, restock bags as we ran out, and greet families through our window when they stopped in to get the art kits.

When a family lost their home in a fire, Maicee, unprompted, went through her own belongings to send to the children. It was Maicee's idea to be secret birthday fairies to local children celebrating birthdays in isolation. When she hears about a child celebrating, one she has never met, she makes sure a small bag is packed up and unknowingly dropped on the birthday child's front step.

MaiceeandmomWith all of the beautiful acts of love we have witnessed from Maicee, it was no surprise when she asked if we could donate her birthday presents to children who aren't having a "good time" in isolation. Children who are not in a safe environment; children who are fighting sadness and deserve to be shown love! Maicee and I talked about where she would like her gifts to go. She chose a woman's shelter. Our local facility is Womens House serving Bruce/Grey with locations in Owen Sound and Kincardine.

If you are interested in making a donation to help reach Maicee's goal, here is a list of needed items taken from the  WHSBG webpage. (Please consider sourcing out a small, local business who may carry the item you're interested in donating - it would be an extra gesture to help keep our little shops afloat.)

Donations can be dropped off anytime. We have locations for drop off in various towns in Grey/Bruce. Another option is to join in on Maicee's birthday parade. It is May 17th at 2pm. Donations will be collected - safely - during the parade. Please email [email protected] or text 5193790982.

In Maicee'a own words:

Why did you decide to donate gifts for your birthday instead of receiving them?

I feel that it is nicer to give than to have things. The gifs belong in other people's hands so that it puts a smile on their faces.

Why did you decide to donate to Women's House?

Because it made me remember that me and my mom and my brothers stayed in a shelter a long time ago. It was kind of sad and scary. I wanted to help other people and kids not be afraid.

Why do you think it is always important to be kind and helpful?

Everyone deserves to feel good and feel loved no matter what. We are all the same. We just look different.

What can other children like you do to get involved in helping other people in need?

Oh I know! They could go through the toys they don't play with anymore. Parents can help them find a place or a family to donate to. Sharing with others makes everyone happy.

How can adults choose to be kind to others?

Well adults should always just be nice to others because they are older and know it's the right thing to do. When they are kind and nice, their kids will learn to be kind and how to help other people.

What is the best thing about being home during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Spending more time with my family doing fun things and lots of hugs.

If you could tell the world one thing, what would it be?

Stay home. Please stay safe. Everyone in the world is important. Everyone is working together.

What do you miss most about life before isolation started?

Math, writing, and my friends.

How do you think your donations will help families of Women's House?

They have been through a rough time, I think, so help from others will make it easier. It will probably make them smile a lot more.









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