Jayda surprised Turning Point Society of Central Alberta with a large donation of essential items and a cheque for the city’s most vulnerable recently. (Contributed photo)

Jayda surprised Turning Point Society of Central Alberta with a large donation of essential items and a cheque for the city’s most vulnerable recently. (Contributed photo)

Be kind and spread joy: 12-year-old Red Deerian donates to less fortunate

“Try to be as kind as possible and spread joy… not just at Christmas.”

That’s the message Red Deer’s Jayda Monilaws is sharing with the community this winter season.

On Wednesday, Jayda, 12, surprised Turning Point Society of Central Alberta with a large donation of essential items and a cheque for the city’s most vulnerable, all in part of #jaydaskindnessproject.

For the past few years, Monilaws has supported marginalized groups in the community by raising awareness and support with an annual cupcake fundraiser and through her kindness project. While this year has been hard on everyone, the pre-teen recognized some people have it harder than others. It’s for that’s why she chose Turning Point as her organization of choice.

“I wanted to help those who could really use it,” shared Monilaws excitedly with eyes shining brightly above her mask. “I want to make people smile.”

“Every day, we hear from our clients how isolated their lives have become as a result of the pandemic,” says Turning Point.

“During this time, we’ve also seen an alarming increase in overdose deaths within Red Deer and surrounding communities, and although Turning Point’s Overdose Prevention Site remains open 24 hours a day, our client capacity has been reduced – something that has likely caused more people to use alone.”

“No one should feel alone or not loved… they aren’t alone,” the Grade 7 Westpark School student said firmly. “Everyone matters. I just like to hear that they know someone in the community cares.”

Her mom, Nicki, said she’s proud of the mindset Jayda has to leave the world a better place.

“We think there is always an opportunity for extending kindness, and everyone deserves compassion, love and kindness,” shared Nicki.

While collecting donation items for Turning Point, Monilaws and her mom received a $500 cheque made out to Turning Point, donated by Frank and Stacey Massner at MAS-PRO.

They also received several essential warm clothing items (mits, scarves, and toques), snacks (granola bars and fruit cups), hand and feet warmers, hygiene items, and $400 worth of small McDonald’s gift cards. These items were donated by Red Deer community members and businesses backing Monilaw’s mission.

“This support is critical for those most vulnerable in central Alberta,” said Mitchell Danser, Turning Point’s communications and community engagement coordinator. “Not only will these donations support healthier, safer lives, but they will also help to spread Jayda’s message, that these individuals are loved, valued, and not forgotten.

“That message is needing to be shared throughout the community more than ever.”

Her mom wants everyone to know that kindness doesn’t always have to be a big gesture. Sometimes the tiniest actions can make the biggest impact.

“All of these ‘small’ donations [Jayda’s] collected adds up to a very large donation of love, hope and kindness,” shared Monilaws. “We’re wishing everyone a very merry Christmas and we hope these acts of kindness from the community show people we all care.”



Send your news tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Town of Ponoka and the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees (AUPE) have ratified a new agreement, averting a strike. (File photo from Facebook)
Alberta gov’t ‘using pandemic as shield to lay off workers,’ says AUPE

The Government of Alberta’s “attacks on workers” is continuing with a new… Continue reading

Rocky Mountain House RCMP, EMS, Search and Rescue, STARS air ambulance and Alstrom Helicopters worked together to rescue a fallen ice climber Friday. (Photo contributed by Rocky Mountain House RCMP)
Rocky Mountain House RCMP help rescue fallen ice climber

Rocky Mountain RCMP helped assist a fallen ice climber Friday afternoon. At… Continue reading

Students Association of Red Deer College president Brittany Lausen says she’s pleased the college is offering students a choice to attend class in-person or remotely. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Red Deer College winter term enrolment dips

Enrolment down about six per cent but mix of online and in-person instruction is going over well

Brett Salomons, of Salomons Commercial, and Mark Jones, CEO of the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre, in the CACAC's new temporary home. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre’s One Day Challenge returns

Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre has announced its One Day Challenge is… Continue reading

Dwayne Buckle, 40 of Red Deer finished a 1,638-kilometre walk, in honour of his family. The 12-week, 82 day-journey wrapped up in Port Hardy, B.C. on Monday. Facebook photo
Red Deer man completes 1,638 km hike for cancer research

Dwayne Buckle, a Red Deer firefighter returned home Friday after his 12-week journey

A Suncor logo is shown at the company's annual meeting in Calgary, Thursday, May 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Body of worker whose bulldozer fell through ice on inactive tailings pond recovered

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. — Oilpatch giant Suncor says the body of a… Continue reading

A restaurant manager in Orlando used a sign to secretly ask an 11-year-old boy if he needs help from his family after they were spotted withholding food from him. (Photo courtesy Orlando Police Department)
WATCH: Restaurant manager uses secret note to ‘rescue’ child, says Orlando Police

The manager of an Orlando restaurant is receiving praise from police after… Continue reading

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will cripple struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

VICTORIA — A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Quebec and Ontario, the two provinces hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic,… Continue reading

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. A young snowshoer who set out alone on a rugged mountain trail on Vancouver's north shore Thursday has died. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Snowshoer dies after overnight search on Vancouver-area mountain: RCMP

SQUAMISH, B.C. — A snowshoer who set out alone on a rugged… Continue reading

nunavut
‘It was joyous:’ Sun returns to some Nunavut communities for first time in weeks

IQALUIT — A sliver of orange rose over Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, earlier… Continue reading

People take photos through the extensive security surrounding the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 15, 2021, ahead of the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden and vice-president-elect Kamala Harris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Susan Walsh
Less pomp, very different circumstances as D.C. prepares to inaugurate Biden, Harris

WASHINGTON — Some pomp. Very different circumstances. Inauguration day is supposed to… Continue reading

Winnipeg Jets' Nathan Beaulieu (88) and Nikolaj Ehlers (27) defend against Jansen Harkins (12) during scrimmage at their NHL training camp practice in Winnipeg, Wednesday, January 6, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Winnipeg Jets cancel practice due to possible COVID-19 exposure

WINNIPEG — The Winnipeg Jets have cancelled their practice today due to… Continue reading

Most Read