Teagan Gidney’s idea that popped up six years ago to share the joys of Christmas has inspired this wonderful story that captures the spirit of the season in Thorold. For starters in 2013, as a 5-year-old boy, Teagan and his classmates at Richmond Street Public School collected Canadian Tire money to donate to local families in need.
From that experience, Teagan was motivated to ask his parents Amy and Rich to adopt their own family to support at Christmas. His parents were happy to give Teagan the green light to go ahead and run with the idea. As a result, the initiative has been growing bigger and stronger each year with Teagan and his younger brother Grayson.
This is their 6th year that the Gidney boys have adopted families for a Christmas celebration in Thorold. Each year the brothers approach the staff at Richmond Street School to compile a list of local families in need each year.
This year Teagan (age 11) and Grayson (age 6) adopted 16 children in our community. Throughout the year the boys raise funds by selling lemonade at their stands during the summer, as well as bottle drives throughout the year and collecting donations from family and friends.
Over the years, positive word of mouth in the community gives the kids a boost. Local businesses have supported the cause. Mountainview Homes has been a loyal supporter,and new this year Rib Crib Smokeshop along with Dr..Riva and Dr. Lee.
“We are so appreciative of the support we receive each year,” said the kids mother Amy Gidney.
In order to fulfill the wish list as best they could, the boys sorted their gifts recently to ensure there were sufficient items for all their recipients. They delivered more than 100 items assembled in 16 giant gift packs on December 18 for pick up by the families at the school. Items that were on the kids wish lists included remote control cars, Play-Doh, Barbie Dolls, Star Wars, Dolls, Paw Patrol, Monopoly game, stuffed animal toys, colouring books and arts and crafts, among other fun stuff for kids.
“This feels good because it helps other families get presents. I learned that some kids don’t get stuff so we try to make them happy by giving toys for fun,” said Teagan.
Yes, many families in Thorold will be happy to celebrate the gift of giving this Christmas thanks to Teagan and Grayson. It’s awesome to see the education in action with kids helping kids.