Kindergartener Tate Parker, is on a mission. He wants to provide 51 homeless people with sleeping bags on Christmas Eve, so they will have a warm bed for Christmas morning. He is going to do this with the money in his piggy bank.
Tate swims regularly at the YMCA and he and his family often walk by the small park across the street, where homeless are camping. The family also frequent Beacon Hill park on weekends and Tate sees the overnight campers and wonders if they are cold and hungry. He loves to go camping and understands that even in summertime, he needs a sleeping bag.
The five-year-old decided he wanted to find 51 new or used sleeping bags in Victoria. Last night, his family placed an ad in usedvictoria for him. He will pay each donor $1 from his savings. He only has $51 in his piggy bank so that’s why his goal is 51 sleeping bags. If the donor doesn’t want to accept $1, he will give it to the sleeping bag recipient.
He feels badly that Santa won’t be coming because they are grown ups. He will be giving each homeless person a sleeping bag and a Christmas card to help them this season.
“As parents we want to support him and instill core values such as Giving (piggy bank donations); Charity (sleeping bags) and Gratitude (each donor will receive a Christmas card/thank you from Tate),” Tate’s dad, Neil Parker, writes in an email to Victoria Buzz.
We were told Tate loves policemen and firemen, so we reached out to VicPD asking if they would be interested in helping, VicPd spokesman Cst. Matt Rutherford, responded right away saying he would be more than happy to join.
We have also reached out to the Victoria Fire Department and are awaiting their response.
Several companies have also jumped on board to help with Tate’s mission. PiCNiC Too, located on Fort St, will be bringing hot drinks (coffee/tea) to the park when Tate drops off the sleeping bags.
“We thought it was pretty cool to learn about what Tate was doing. At PiCNiC Too we try to focus on connecting to community and this is a great time of year to reach out to those around us who need help,” the owner Jon Perkins tells Victoria Buzz.
“The park where Tate is dropping off the sleeping bags is near PiCNiC Too and we often walk or drive past it. It is easy to turn a blind eye to these people but when Tate’s initiative came up we really connected with it.”
The HarbourCats, and their mascot Harvey, also want to show there support for what Tate is doing. The team reached out to Victoria Buzz on Twitter inviting him and his family to the opening night game this year, where he can sit in the owners’ seats and enjoy the game. And, yes, meet Harvey.
“This has really touched our community, and our organization, and we are also pitching in with this – this young man deserves all our applause for what he’s doing,” said Jim Swanson, GM/VP of the HarbourCats.
“Having Tate at our opening game in June will be our pleasure. No one will be more happy to see Tate that day than Harvey.”
Tate’s mom says the boy is a big HarbourCats fan, so this only completes the picture.
If you have a sleeping bag to donate, please email the family at [email protected]
Tate’s dad will pick up each sleeping bag and mom will wash them.