When Jada Benwell found out her dad and a few of his neighbouring businesses were going to host a lunch for Victoria’s homeless at Our Place this month, she sprang into high gear.
The Grade 5 student at Deep Cove Elementary School in North Saanich and daughter of Russ Benwell, owner of the Red Barn Markets, decided she was going to collect 400 pairs of warm socks, toques and more in a campaign called Sox Box. She has placed collection boxes at her school, Kelset Elementary, Toast Cafe and at Melinda’s Biscotti in Sidney. There are also boxes up at the Red Barn Market (West Saanich Road, Mattick’s Farm, Vanalman Avenue and Latoria Walk). Jada said she plans to gather some of her best friends on the day of the lunch and hand out the warm clothes to people in need.
Jada said she has done a lot of fundraising in the past and wanted to help people again at the Feb. 23 lunch at Our Place, sponsored by the Red Barn, Back Fit and the Roy Group.
“There’s a whole bunch of awesome people supporting me,” she said.
Caleb Bentham, in Grade 3 and son of Back Fit owner Craig Bentham, said he’s helping his friend because there are other people who need warm clothes.
“It’s important to help people,” he said.
Jada and Caleb are joined by Caleb’s sister Summer and Jada’s brother Quinn in the Sox Box campaign. It has been running all of February and Jada said they are nearly three-quarters of the way to their goal.
Jada said she is collecting socks and more because a lot of people have things better than others and this is one way of giving back to the community.
“And if I can reach my goal,” she continued, “I know I can set the bar higher next year.”
She said she hopes the Sox Box campaign will be an annual event.
Her dad Russ said giving back to the community is important to local businesses like his and his daughter has taken that to heart.
“It’s good to learn about this at a young age,” Russ said.