Inspiring: 8-year-old boy's grit feeds 16 needy children for a year

Apr 23, 2014, 05:50 IST | Agencies

NORTH CAROLINA: William Winslow is not your average eight-year-old. While most kids spend their free time playing tag or riding bikes, this second-grader at AB Combs Elementary School in Raleigh, has a more philanthropic hobby: He fights childhood hunger in his community.

Food for thought: William was moved to act after he heard about BackPack Buddies, a North Carolina hunger-relief programme run by Inter-Faith Food Shuttle

This year alone, William’s food drive collected enough food and money to keep at least 16 kids fed for an entire year, William’s mother said. It all started when William heard about BackPack Buddies — a North Carolina hunger-relief programme run by Inter-Faith Food Shuttle — from a guidance counsellor at school. Struck by the problem of food insecurity in his own community, William asked his friends to bring donations for BackPack Buddies to his seventh birthday party ,instead of gifts.

Later, William’s concern led him to ask his mother to drive him to the local grocery store so he could talk to the manager about starting a food drive. When his mother, Blythe Clifford, asked him what was bothering him so much, he told her, “I can’t stand the thought of my classmates being hungry.” William’s first food drive, in February 2013, raised $305 and collected 1,400 pounds of food. This year, William wanted to expand.

Last weekend, William’s second annual food drive began, with four grocery stores and a restaurant participating. With the help of his parents and around 50 volunteers, William gathered 3,335 pounds of food and more than $3,000 in donations, so far.

Recently, the eight-year-old received a $500 grant from a nonprofit working to end childhood hunger called the Sodexo Foundation, Yahoo Shine reported — and he plans to expand the programme even more. Clifford told that when asked by his father what he sees in the future, he responded, “I see no kids hungry.”

“It took my breath away. He just believes with his whole heart that he can help make this better. He doesn’t understand why people wouldn’t help kids in need,” Clifford said. “He just wants to help feed hungry kids and he expects others to help him. I don’t think he gets how inspiring he is or how incredible it is to be so empathetic at such a young age.”        

3,335 pounds
The amount of food collected by William in his food drive last weekend

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