Andrew was a lonely six-year-old foster child when he first met Sandy Teel in front of his Coquitlam Elementary school.
Teel, a daycare operator, was sending some of her children to school and giving them all a hug good-bye when Andrew asked for a hug as well.
She obliged and a tradition was born.
In time she learned that Andrew was a foster child who had been bounced around from home to home since the age of one.
When Sandy told her family, her eldest son suggested they adopt Andrew. Even her husband Mark, who had never met the little boy, agreed.
And so the process began.
Of course Andrew had no idea: they didn’t want to build up his hopes only to have them dashed if things didn’t work out.
But in time Andrew got his forever family.
A few years later, he decided he wanted to give back to others who were less fortunate. He started raising money to make Christmas stockings filled with goodies for the homeless.
Then, two years ago, he turned his attentions to Covenant House, a charitable organization that helps over 1,000 homeless youth every year in Vancouver.
Andrew created Toonies For Teens to support the organization.
His first goal was to raise $100 among his classmates, but as word spread about his remarkable story and his altruistic goal, the tally started to rise. His latest goal of $6,000 has now reached more than $28,000.
Better yet, every dollar he raises before the end of December will be multiplied three-fold.
Donations to Andrew’s campaign are being collected here.