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I BELIEVE: Boy on P.E.I. bringing joy to children, buying gifts for Islanders in need

J.D. MacKenzie of Vernon Bridge shows off some of the gifts he’s donating to the Toys for Tots fundraiser. Each year, he uses the money he makes collecting cans and bottles and buys gifts for children in need.  ©THE GUARDIAN
J.D. MacKenzie of Vernon Bridge shows off some of the gifts he’s donating to the Toys for Tots fundraiser. Each year, he uses the money he makes collecting cans and bottles and buys gifts for children in need. ©THE GUARDIAN - Katie Smith

Shopping malls and department stores across the Island are steadily filling up with eager shoppers hoping to get the perfect gift for their love ones.

While this time of year tends to be a bit hectic, it can be easy to lose sight of what’s important. But the true spirit of Christmas is not lost on one Vernon Bridge youth.

For the past few years, 11-year-old J.D. MacKenzie has taken it upon himself to help those less fortunate than him.

Since he was in Grade 2, J.D. has collected cans and bottles throughout the year, using the money he collects to buy toys for children at Christmastime.

This year, J.D., who is now in Grade 6 at Vernon River Consolidated School, collected more bottles and cans than ever before.

And with the help of family and friends, J.D. raised $407, which will buy a lot of gifts for children in need this Christmas.

“I like to bring joy to children,” he said during his recent shopping spree at Toys R Us in Charlottetown. “It makes me feel good.”
J.D.’s mother, Jodi, is proud of her son.

The resident care worker said she sees people’s struggles first-hand.

“I want my kids to realize that there’s kids out there that don’t have anything. It makes me want to cry,” she said. “I work at the hospital, so I see lots of different walks of life and just knowing that some people don’t have family Christmas morning is hard.”

The shopping trip turned out to be quite successful, as the MacKenzies collected an overflowing cart of goodies.

Among the gifts were Lego, mini hockey sticks, Shopkins, Barbies, board games and more.

The toys will be donated for the station’s Toys for Tots program, an annual fundraiser that helps Island families in need.

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The Guardian’s “I Believe” series, which will be published both in print and online between now and Christmas, will include inspirational and uplifting stories to get our readers in the holiday spirit. If you have a story that you believe should be part of the “I Believe” series, email newsroom@theguardian.pe.ca.

Other stories in the I Believe series:

 

I BELIEVE: Children of inmates at P.E.I. jail get presents for Christmas

I BELIEVE: No shortage of support for international community on the Island over the holidays

I BELIEVE: Summerside boy has wish granted, spends a week in Los Angeles

I BELIEVE: Musical Christmas lights display up and running in Indian River

I BELIEVE: Movable feast – annual Christmas dinner moving from Georgetown’s Kings Playhouse to Souris

I BELIEVE: Christmas together on P.E.I.

I BELIEVE: GoFundMe page helps families through holidays after losing parent to depression or addiction

 

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