Award winners to be named later this week
By Laura Lennie, News Staff
Trinity DaMaia feels blessed.
The 10-year-old St. James the Apostle Catholic Elementary School Grade 5 student says because she is fortunate, it’s only natural to help others who aren’t as lucky.
“I feel really blessed because I have a very good life,” she said. “I know not everyone is fortunate, but I think everyone deserves to be. I feel it’s really important to help people who need it.”
Trinity was born with pulmonary valve stenosis, a heart valve disorder in which outflow of blood from the right ventricle of the heart is obstructed at the level of the pulmonic valve. This results in the reduction of flow of blood to the lungs.
She undergoes ultrasounds every four years at McMaster Children’s Hospital, but has never let the disorder or visits to the hospital slow her down.
Trinity has been committed to helping others since a young age.
She held a food drive for the Stoney Creek Community Food Bank at her seventh birthday party.
“I asked my family and friends for non-perishable food items instead of gifts because I already had a lot and wanted to do something to help other people,” Trinity said. “We gathered enough food to feed 20 families at Thanksgiving. It felt better than getting presents.”
Trinity also organized a school supply campaign for children in the Dominican Republic at age nine and handed out supplies to kids there during a family vacation.
She informed her class of the need for the supplies and promised to share stories and photos from her trip.
Trinity and her classmates put together more than 20 kilograms of pencils, pens, erasers, rulers and notebooks for students in need.
“I just remember how grateful the children were,” she said. “I never thought I would ever see kids so happy to get a pencil. They were so thankful and it felt really good.”
In addition, Trinity held a lemonade stand fundraiser for McMaster Children’s Hospital at age nine.
She pounded the pavement trying to find a location and get donated supplies for the stand.
Trinity’s fundraiser took place at Bayfront Park during the City Kidz Garage Sale on May 11, 2013.
Her lemonade stand generated over $1,000 for the hospital.
“Even though I have pulmonary valve stenosis, I have been very fortunate and I know not everyone is as lucky,” Trinity said. “Because of all the excellent care I have received from the hospital, I wanted to give back. It felt great to be able to do that in some way.”
Trinity said she wants to set an example through her involvement with various causes.
“I just try to help out with anything I can every chance I get,” she said. “I want to do this because I think if everyone cared about others, it would just be a wonderful world. If everyone helped just one person, eventually no one would need help.”
That attitude has led Trinity to be nominated for an Ontario Community Newspapers Association 2013 Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year award.
The award recognizes outstanding young people, age six to 17, who are performing worthwhile community service, contributing to their communities while living with limitations, have performed acts of heroism or are good kids who are making life better for others and doing more than expected of someone their age.
Trinity said she felt happy about being nominated.
“I feel really good,” she said. “I didn’t expect anything for doing that stuff. I just like doing things to help others.”
School principal Marcello De Angelis said Trinity is more than deserving of the recognition.
“Trinity is a very positive role model, she’s very inspiring for all the charitable acts that she’s undertaken at such a young age and it goes a long way to show why she was nominated for the Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year award,” he said. “She’s very caring, kind, thoughtful and is always willing to help out with things as part of the school community. She just goes and quietly does it in a very positive and effective way.”
Trinity said helping others is something she plans to do for as long as she can.
“Because I feel blessed, I want to continue to help people in whatever way I can,” she said. “I want to make a difference now and in the future.”
The 2013 Ontario Junior Citizen of the Year award recipients will be announced on Jan. 24 at www.ocna.org.