A John Mahood Public School student has joined in the giving act with her donation to the Mennonite Central Committee’s Ukrainian relief fund.
After Grade 2 student Peyton Leyland’s school sold sunflower kits in a fundraising effort earlier in the year, she decided to keep it going over the spring and summer. In total she raised $230, which she delivered to MCC Thrift’s Elmira location in the run-up to the holidays.
“Someone else did it. So I thought I would do it too And I was trying to do it for Ukraine,” she said.
Peyton’s mom, Sarah Playford, said that even at a young age Peyton understood what was happening when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine started.
“She said that she wanted to help support them because she was feeling sad because they’re the community and their houses were lost,” Playford said.
“That’s why I supported it because I thought ‘we can keep carrying this on and we can do this to help support, even if it was $100.’ She kept thinking of this herself to keep it going.”
Peyton said she felt “good and little bit nervous” delivering her donation.
The donation came at a time of dire need for Ukrainians.
“When we dropped it off, one lady said that they had just gotten an email from Ukraine saying that it’s really cold over there so they’re needing some heat in their houses. I know she was happy and she was nervous, I think because she wasn’t sure how maybe that would make people feel [about] her donating,” Playford said.
Playford said she was very proud of her daughter for taking the initiative.
“[I felt] very proud of her that she would just take that ownership, keep going with it and raise the money and want to donate. It’s just so amazing at this age, 8 years old, but she wanted to help out. It shows that there’s good in the children that we’re raising in this generation, and what a big heart some kids have.”
Leyland is already looking forward to her next project.
“I’m going to start a project for [this] year, maybe like blossoms or roses or something,” she said.