Eight years ago, a then two-year-old Owen Hewett collected $50 to donate to the Morningstar Mission’s warm winter clothes campaign.
So began the Napanee boy’s tradition of yearly donations to the Mission, each year bigger than the last. This year the now 10-year-old once again reached new heights, dropping off over $6,000 worth of boots, mittens and toques to the mission.
“He wanted all the other kids to feel as fortunate as he does,” said his dad Darren.
It was actually an off-hand comment made by his father eight winters ago that spurred the good deed. It started from the typical battle every Canadian parent has had with their kids during winter. Owen, being a typical two-year-old, didn’t want to wear his mittens one particularly cold day. Darren pointed out he was lucky to even have mittens to wear, as some kids don’t even have that option to keep warm. What was a-typical of that exchange was how the two-year-old Owen took the message to heart,vowing to do something about those who didn’t have mittens. From there his mission snowballed into a yearly tradition, backed by the generosity of friends, family and local businesses in the Napanee community. Giant Tiger once again stepped up, offering a 10 per cent discount on the $4,000 worth of merchandise he purchased before adding $900 worth of clothing to the cause. Clayton Flooring again kicked in $1,000 while the Kingston Frontenacs OHL hockey team donated bags worth of toques. This year the staff of Lennox and Addington County General Hospital got involved with their own sock/mitten/toque tree, organized by the So’Well Committee.
On Friday Owen and his dad dropped by the mission to deliver the several bags of clothing, which will be distributed to those in need this holiday season.
Another successful delivery in the books, Owen reaffirmed his goal to continue collecting donations until he turns 75.
Morningstar Mission will be hosting a Christmas Day roast beef dinner at the Napanee Lion’s Hall, starting at 1 p.m. All are welcome to attend the free meal. Meal delivery is also available to anyone in Lennox and Addington County by registering at www.morningstarmission.ca/christmasdinner.