If there’s one thing I love hearing about, it’s exceptional young people who offer hope to the rest of us that, when their time comes to lead our country, our businesses, and our communities, they will do so with wisdom and compassion.
Jack Hunter is an exceptional young man. The 11-year-old has the compassion of someone in their fifties. He’s an old soul in a young body.
So, being the old soul that he is, it was natural for him to be attracted to a movement that began with another old soul in a young body, Faith Dickinson. In 2012, Faith, at the age of nine, began her current crusade by making a blanket for her Aunt, who was always cold because of her chemotherapy treatments for stage-four cancer. Since then, the now 17-year-old is responsible for leading an organization that has distributed over 5,000 blankets.
Jack met Faith while visiting the Cuddles for Cancer drop-in centre in Lakefield, Ontario, with his dad, to volunteer to help make blankets. Having seen his father, Sean, battle cancer, Jack related to Faith immediately. He saw a role model that inspired him to start-up a western chapter of Faith’s organization.
“I’m excited to see how many people we can help,” says Jack. “I hope that people see how something as simple as a blanket can make people feel better. Every blanket will be like a hug to someone who needs a hug.”
Jack’s father, Sean, is a proud man. He knows his son is a caring young man with a drive to make a difference. I ask him, “You do know that this is going to be a huge time commitment, right? As one father to another, are YOU up for the challenge?” Sean smiles, “Jack is committed, and we, his family, believe in his commitment and will do what we can to contribute. This is Jack’s choice and we are proud to support that choice.”
I was saddened that I wasn’t able to attend Jack’s official launching on October 11th, as I was out of town. But upon my return, I immediately checked in on how things went with the launch. I was happy to hear that the community embraced Faith and Jack as they launched the new Airdrie-based ‘Cuddles for Cancer’. There is a slight twist on the launch, given the time of year as well as an identified need.
Cuddles for Cancer‘s launch in Airdrie begins with what will be the annual ‘Sponsor a Soldier’ campaign until Remembrance Day. For their first annual campaign, they are asking local families, churches, or businesses, to sponsor a soldier for $50. This can be in support of a soldier overseas, a veteran at home, or a soldier returning home and suffering from injury or PTSD.
The Legion is also accepting volunteers for their annual poppy fund campaign. Check in at the Legion to see if there are any shifts you might be able to help out with by sitting at one of their tables in a local business.
Don’t forget to stop what you are doing on Monday and take a moment to quietly reflect on the sacrifices made by others so that we might enjoy the freedoms we do today. We really should do this every day, but particularly on Monday, Remembrance Day.