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Lloydminster teenager gathering gloves for vulnerable children

A Lloydminster teenager is looking out for children experiencing homelessness in the community and wants to make sure they stay warm this winter.

Kashy Antonio founded a non-profit campaign with the goal of providing gloves to homeless children in Lloydminster and the surrounding areas. The campaign is known as Helping Hands. Antonio hopes to collect over 100 pairs of brand new or gently used children’s gloves and $250 in donations to purchase more gloves during the campaign.

During the initial stages of the pandemic, Antonio spent some time online thinking of ways to help members of the community. It was then that she discovered another non-profit called EveryChildNow. She took part in their five-week summer fellowship where she learned leadership, public speaking skills and ways she could make an impact on the community.

“Their main focus is to empower youth and help other children make a difference in their community. Through that, I learned how to put all the skills they taught me into one thing and come up with helping hands.”

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She says the idea for Helping Hands started to form during the camp.

“One of the main focuses was to tackle a basic need that children here in Canada are struggling with or facing. With the temperatures in Canada and the cold winters, knowing that children probably find it hard to find food and proper clothing, so I was thinking what would they need.”

Helping Hands isn’t a school project, but Antonio has been in touch with Holy Rosary High School staff. The school has allowed her to place a collection bin at the entrance of the school starting on September 28th. Antonio will also be spreading the word about the campaign that same day.

“We have a thing called advisory class which is your first period class. Each advisory class is going to show Helping Hands’ mission to the kids and hopefully other high school students will want to get involved.”

She will also be holding a photography session in October to help raise funds for the project.

“I really love photography and tying my passion with this project was something I wanted to do.”

Antonio expects to finish gathering donations before the end of November and plans to drop them off to the shelters in the city. She hopes to get more children involved in the project by spreading the word about Helping Hands to other schools in the division and hopes to inspire people to take action on community projects.

“If people around the community are thinking of starting something and are trying to help people, don’t be afraid to. I’m a really shy person and had this mindset of someone else will do something. I had to step out of that and say I can make a difference and get up and help children out.”

Members of the community who are interested in donating gloves to Helping Hands are encourage to message the Facebook page.

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