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Little River Thomas beads for less fortunate

(COURTESY SCOTLAND BLAKELEY)

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What do you call a brighteyed six-year-old girl with a big heart and a beading kit?

River Thomas.

As many of us attempt to adapt to living during a pandemic, by sanitizing, mask-wearing and perhaps occasionally laying on the floor staring at the ceiling, Thomas took this new normal in stride.

As her family was packing to go camping in Hemmingford, Thomas decided that along with her sunscreen and hat, she would bring her bead kit. Scotland Blakeley, the little one’s proud mother, questioned this odd camping accessory and Thomas explained, “I want to make keychains and sell them for the old people. Coronavirus is probably really hard on them.”

She started furiously beading bracelets and keychains, with her goal to raise $100 for the Kahnawake Food Basket. Blakeley explained that she did not want to set a price for her work; she wanted it all to be a donation. As Thomas put it, “everyone has different money.” If they were not able to pay for it, she also didn’t mind.

After two weeks of her rigorous craftsmanship, Thomas has raised $1,050, with no sign of stopping. The busy life of a grade 1 student has nothing on this determined soul.

“She is already talking about what she’s going to do next, and asking me to buy her more beads, as well as talk of raising money for kids during Christmastime.” said Blakeley with a smile.

Blakeley explained that their family has a stationary trailer at Camp Canne de Bois in Hemmingford, and after the camp heard about her project, they were also inspired.

The Children’s Activity Committee got involved and helped Thomas facilitate an online auction, which happened last Sunday (August 16) on Facebook. Unfortunately, Facebook limited the auction to an hour, and left half of her work unsold. This did not stop Thomas and her family, as they posted pictures of the rest of the merchandise on Facebook, giving everyone until 5 p.m. on Monday (August 17) to bid.

This altruistic behaviour does not surprise Blakeley, as her daughter has always been extremely caring and kind. “If she’s playing with something and someone wants it, like a friend or cousins, she’ll always try and give it to them.” says Blakeley.

Thomas’ kind spirit definitely has not come out of nowhere, as her family has been setting this example her whole life.

When Thomas was four, she asked her mother why she was donating all of her favourite treats to the food bank, and Blakeley explained to her that it’s important to share quality food to the less fortunate, because they deserve to enjoy what they are eating as well.

“Since then, she always fills the bags with her favourite foods,” said her mother.

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