PIERREFONDS-ROXBORO – Kristy Westlake is a teacher, a mother, a mover and a shaker.
So, when her son approached her recently to say he wanted to help others, she figured there’s no time like the present to start.
“He said ‘just like in the movies, mummy, I want to help the kids who don’t have anything’ so I took that and the first thing I thought of was Dans la rue,” said Westlake.
The family of four is on their last leg of the race to fill up fifty care packages for homeless youth at the organization.
It’s a time-consuming process that’s clearly rewarding for the children.
“We help people, I think about helping people,” said six-year old Kyle Mercx.
Global News first met the Mercx family last year, when they candy bombed the Montreal Children’s Hospital, leaving a trail of candy canes on every car in the parking lot.
They did the same thing this year, plus they delivered dozens of backpacks full of toys to Batshaw Youth and Family Centres, made cookies for their local police station and more.
“Now we’re going to make cupcakes for the firemen,” said Kyle.
The reason behind the family’s tradition is simple.
“We wanted to find more meaning in Christmas for us, for my kids,” Westlake told Global News.
Their random acts of kindness, it seems, are contagious.
They were able to buy thousands of dollars worth of basic necessities thanks to donations from friends and strangers on Facebook.
“Donations came pouring in and I had people coming, dropping off shampoos, conditioners, socks, tampons, pads – you name it,” said Westlake.
It’s a priceless lesson for the children, on a holiday that often leads to over-consumption.
“It’s not about receiving, it’s about giving,” said Hans Mercx.
“We’re fortunate enough to live in a house and we don’t have to worry about food at the table or a roof over our heads.”
For the next few days, the family’s garage will look more like a warehouse, where Santa’s newest little helpers are working hard, learning an important life lesson and adopting a new tradition.
“Last year they got it, my six-year old said ‘Christmas is not about presents, it’s about love,'” said Westlake.
“This year they wanted to do more, so how can I say no?”