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Photo by Craig Campbell

Photo by Craig Campbell

Emilia Soares Ferrez, 10, presents Whitney Albright of the Hamilton Ronald McDonald House with household items she collected from friends on her birthday.

Better to give than receive

By Craig Campbell, News Staff

Emilia Soares Ferrez’s mother taught her she’s lucky to not want for anything, and that other children face daily challenges she does not.

On her 10th birthday earlier this month, Emilia showed just how well she has learned that lesson.

“It’s good to receive, but it’s better to give,” she said last Monday, when she brought bags and boxes full of small but needed items to donate to the Hamilton Ronald McDonald House at Main Street West and Cootes Drive.

The Ainsliewood resident and Grade 5 student at St. Bernadette Catholic Elementary School in Dundas decided to ask her friends to bring an item on the Ronald McDonald House wish list to her birthday party – instead of presents for her.

It means parents of sick children who travel to McMaster in a hurry don’t need to worry about that toothbrush or other item they forgot – or will have a can of soup to prepare for themselves.

Giving back isn’t new for Emilia. She supports other local charitable efforts with her mother, Elizabeth Soares, through Hamilton churches and as a Girl Guide.

She’d like to see other Hamilton-area kids her age pay it forward as well. And she’s setting the example to show you can give back to the community no matter how old you are.

Emilia and her Mom got a personal tour of the newly renovated Ronald McDonald House from development officer Whitney Albright.

“Our goal is to make it feel like a home away from home,” Albright said.

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