8-year-old William Winslow of Raleigh, N.C., has taken it upon himself to fight childhood hunger in his community.
It all started a year ago, when William heard about BackPack Buddies, a hunger-relief program run by Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. Moved by the idea of young children in his community going without food, he decided to forgo the usual gifts and turned his 7th birthday into a donation drive.
Unwilling to rest on his laurels, he then proceeded to ask his mother to drive him to the local grocery store so he could convince the manager to start a food drive. His motivation was simple “I can’t stand the thought of my classmates being hungry” and in that unencumbered childhood way he went for it.
The inaugural food drive, in 2013, raised $305 and amassed 1,400 pounds of food. A fantastic result, but William wasn’t going to stop there.
This year he involved four grocery stores, a restaurant, his parents and around 50 volunteers. Together they gathered 3,335 pounds of food and more than $3,000 in donations. enough to feed at least 16 children for an entire year.
William has the goal of eradicating childhood hunger. He has received a $500 grant from the Sodexo Foundation, which works to end childhood hunger, and with it he wants to grow the program further. In William’s words: “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,” said his father. “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.”
Perhaps we should all take a page out of his book.