In the run-up to Christmas, Grade 7 Cayman Prep and High School student Jaden Thompson spent his Saturdays raising money for children in need.
Jaden, 11, stood for hours in front of the Book Nook in Galleria Plaza on Saturdays asking shoppers to donate their spare change so that children at the National Council of Voluntary Organisations’ Nadine Andreas Residential Foster Home could have a better Christmas this year.
Jaden’s campaign in front of the store drew the support of shoppers, as well the staff of Book Nook.
His goal was to raise $500, but he managed to raise $658.
After collecting the money, he bought one “great big” certificate from the book store and presented it to the preschool’s director, Heather Lopez, and the kids.
“It was hard fundraising, but the best part about it was when my friends, teachers and other kids I never met before came up to me and gave me all of their spare change …. Some kids that didn’t have spare change promised they would come back next Saturday and donate their spare change …. I was pretty excited about that,” said Jaden.
He said this was his first time raising money.
“I was a little nervous at first, asking total strangers for money, but after a while it got easier and it helped to build my confidence,” he said.
“What I liked most about the fundraising was when I saw kids wanting to help other kids. I wanted the children in foster care to have the best Christmas ever. Christmas is about giving and sharing everything that we have with others,” he added.
Jaden also bought books from Book Nook and began reading to the children at Miss Nadine’s Pre-School during his school break.
“I think it is good that he will continue helping the NCVO and the children can see where he is putting his efforts into it …. He likes spending time with the kids and I think that’s what makes him want to go back,” said Jaden’s mother Sheena Thompson.
She said Book Nook owner Barbara Levy was very accommodating in allowing Jaden to raise money in front of the store.