Ordinary Youth Accomplishes Extraordinary Goals

A young girl smiling at the camera, in front of her are many canned food items
Categories: Articles, Feature, Newswire
Ordinary Youth Accomplishes Extraordinary Goals

Alyah stands with food collection for the homeless and people in need

When Alyah was seven-years-old she emptied the change from her purse and gave it to a homeless and hungry man on the streets of Toronto. Since then, she’s been easing the pain of those experiencing homelessness and helping others in need.

“We were getting ready to leave when I saw a homeless person with a sign that said, ‘Please give me money, I’m hungry,” says Alyah, now 11. “I was shocked because I didn’t know that some people had to live on the streets.”

Upset and somewhat confused by what she had seen, Alyah asked her mother a lot of questions about homelessness and hunger. “Why doesn’t he have a place to live? How can this happen in Canada? Can he come and live with us?”

“Alyah had a real interest in doing something about what she saw,” says Melva.

For three years, Alyah, with the support of her family, collected blankets, hats and mitts, for the local homeless shelter. In 2016, after noting that some of her school friends were hungry, she changed her focus to collecting food items, filled the back seat of the family pick-up truck and delivered them to The Salvation Army for distribution. For her most recent project, Christmas 2017, she filled the family’s back seat and entire truck bed with food and items such as soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and deodorant.

The effort moved Captain Karen Holland of The Salvation Army to tears.

“Alyah’s generosity is inspiring and means so much,” says Holland. “We have a lot of people who really need this.”

Alyah’s goal for 2018 is simple. “I’m going to continue to collect items and help the homeless and people in need. I want to keep it growing.”