LETTER: Help a boy caught up quelling his peers’ hunger

A program started by a trio of Langley students keeps growing, not out of desire but out of need.

Dear Editor,

I feel that this is definitely worth sharing!

I’m a mom of two boys, one in Grade 7 at West Langley Elementary, and the other in Grade 9 at Walnut Grove Secondary.

I suppose my story starts with my younger son being chosen to represent West Langley Elementary at the recent IDEA Summit that took place at the Langley Events Centre on May 8. (Which, by the way, was an incredible event).

At the summit, I got to see and hear many young entrepreneurs present their ‘pitches’ to panels of local business owner judges. It’s at this time that I was moved beyond words.

A handsome young man, wearing a suit, walked onto the stage. The emcee introduced him and his idea – Weekend Fuel Bag. Being the mom of a teenage boy, knowing they’re sometimes ‘iffy’ behaviour at this confusing time in their lives, my initial thought was ‘oh boy, must have something to do with fun parties on the weekend.

He began to speak… immediately I was in shock.

I felt overwhelmed with emotion. He told the audience a bit of his story, and I was in tears. I could feel his passion in his words.

This young man’s name is Brady Lumsden, a Grade 11 student at WGSS, the same high school my son attends. That made it even more real to me. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

RELATED: Langley students need donors to keep food program going

He spoke about something that I wasn’t even aware was an issue in my own neighbourhood –that is, how many children in Langley are hungry everyday.

The statistics he gave were shocking. I was immediately sold.

I had to meet him and help somehow.

In this day and age, where many kids take so much for granted, I truly couldn’t believe this could even be an issue in my own community. Kids with cellphones in Grade 4, complaining about sandwiches and why the crusts weren’t cut off, high-end gaming computer systems, designer clothes, and cars at 17, something has to be done.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to speak with him that day. However, I saw him again yesterday (at the Western Canadian young entrepreneurs showcase at the Vancouver Convention Centre).

I spoke with him at length and found him to be one of the most amazing, intelligent, caring, passionate teenagers I have ever had the privilege of meeting.

His passion was contagious. His commitment to this cause was unreal.

We spoke for a long time and Brady brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t believe that, while so many teenagers are caught up in fashion and teenage drama, here was a boy that was caught up in his hungry peers.

How he manages to juggle school, family, friends, and still find time to help others is beyond me.

This should not be an issue today, in our own communities.

RELATED: Donors fill food bags in North Langley

No child should ever be hungry.

How can we, as a society, expect great things from our youth and assume they will grow up to be future leaders, businesspeople, teachers, one day parents, when they are missing one of the most basic needs we have?

How can a child learn when the only thing on their mind is the grumbling they can hear in their stomachs, or feeling overwhelmed with the stress of not knowing if they will get dinner that night.

I understand very well living paycheque to paycheque, living within our means. But, as a community can we not skip the Starbucks one or two days a week?

I understand that for Brady, with his Weekend Fuelbag idea, it only costs about $520 to sponsor one child for one year. That’s about $1.43 a day, way less than that Starbucks.

For my family alone, that would be difficult. But as a cul-de-sac, or an office, a classroom or school, it is definitely managable.

I truly believe that if we all make a tiny change in our routines, we can bring an end to childhood hunger in our own

community.

Please help me to help Brady with his amazing cause, at least read his story sy www.weekendfuelbag.ca and then decide.

We all have chaotic, busy lives and of course, our loyalties are first to our own families. But, while we all wait for someone else to take the initiative to get the ball rolling, there are children at your kids’ school who are hungry.

Perhaps one of you out there, who will read this to the end, is sitting at your desk at Kraft Canada, or Sunrype juice, Kelloggs or Delmonte, and is willing to get that ball rolling… it takes a village to raise a child – doesn’t it?

Please, let’s be that village and change some lives.

Elizabeth Woznica, Walnut Grove

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