‘Be nice to everyone’: 9-year-old donates care packages to homeless

EDMONTON –

A nine-year-old girl, struck by a desire to help, assembled and handed out backpacks full of food, blankets, and jackets to those in need.

Leduc resident Brooklyn Valaire, noticed what homelessness in Alberta looked like three years ago when her mother brought her into Edmonton. She immediately thought of what she could do to help.

“We saw a lady with no shoes, so I made my mom give her, her shoes,” Brooklyn told CTV News. “It made me feel happy to see her get a pair of shoes.”

That pivotal moment led her to create Brooklyn’s Backpacks, a team effort fuelled by volunteers to gather donations clothing, toiletries, and food to create care packages for people in need.

“It’s amazing,” said Crystal Manuel, Brooklyn’s mother. “I’m extremely proud. I don’t even know what else to say.

“It really shows how mature she is for her age and the sense of community she has that she wants to help.”

To date, Brooklyn’s Backpacks provided 300 care packages to Edmonton’s homeless.

With winter approaching, Brooklyn says giving people backpacks full of important items to stay warm and healthy is important.

“It’s just important to be nice to everyone,” she added. “Be nice to everyone. It doesn’t matter who they are or what they’ve done.”

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