Gabby Wilkinson’s young heart is making a big impact in Essex County

Laurie Makulski Harrison
By Laurie Makulski Harrison December 1, 2017 21:40

Gabby Wilkinson selling her handmade goods for charity at the Essex Legion Nov. 26, 2017. Photo by Laurie Harrison.

While many hobbyists profit from their crafts, Gabby Wilkinson has spent a better part of her young life finding ways to support our community’s most vulnerable.

It all started with difficulties in math and distinguishing colours. To help her understand counting and patterns, Wilkinson’s mom bought her a jewellery making kit.

What was created at that kitchen table goes beyond counting aids and homemade bracelet – a young philanthropist emerged.

One of a growing handful of philanthropic kids in our region, Wilkinson has supported many organizations and has joined her efforts with other compassionate young kids.

Helping food banks always puts a smile on her face.

“It makes me feel that I am grateful for them to be happy,” she said. “I saw greatness in their hearts.”

Wilkinson has contacted several organizations over the years offering her goods as a fundraiser. She has made “gifts of hope” bags for the homeless filled with essentials, and she has collected thermoses for them, so they have a way to stay warm at night with hot chocolate.

“We should be saviours to everyone,” Wilkinson explained. “I don’t see (many) with sweaters, coats and gloves on them, so I thought, maybe they could use it.”

Christine Wilson-Furlonger from Street Help Homeless Centre in Windsor said it is so important that children in our community find a way to help, and their contributions are valuable.

“In total, if you accumulated the clothing donations that come in, the sleeping bags, a lot of these efforts start through children…then, it’s a significant amount towards our total in donations, very significant,” she said.

Wilson-Furlonger has seen children collect socks throughout the year, ask for Mr. Noodles in lieu of birthday gifts and selling crafts along with baked goods as fundraisers to help our city’s homeless.

“it’s very important for the children like Gabby in our community to get involved. The real reason is once they start understanding philanthropy at such a young age, it’s going to carry with them for the rest of their lives.”

Not all the Canada 150 award recipients have been announced yet, but Wilkinson was nominated along with other children across the nation. They will be recognized later this month when dignitaries will present them with the Canada 150 award for their commitment to their communities.

Laurie Makulski Harrison
By Laurie Makulski Harrison December 1, 2017 21:40

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