From humble Good Samaritans to media stars, the last seven months have been quite a ride for Sandy Teel and her 14-year-old son Andrew.
It all started when Andrew was a lonely six-year-old foster child and he first met 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 in time Andrew got his forever family.
“Andrew is a ray of sunshine and has been since the day he came home,” Teel said. “Andrew makes everything better.”
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.
WATCH MORE: Last year we introduced you to Andrew, a former foster child who was determined to give back.
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.
“I feel like I want to give all the people who went through foster care or had something happen in life… to give them another chance,” Andrew said.
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. To date, he’s collected over $49,000.
Teel and Andrew’s good deeds have not gone unnoticed.
The Vancouver Whitecaps have nominated them for the Major League Soccer Community MVP Award. Next month they fly to Chicago for the All-Star game and a chance to win $25,000 for their charity of choice. For Andrew, it’s Covenant House.
But in order for them to win, people need to vote for them online.
“If we can win that money and bring it home, they can support more kids… and more kids would have a chance to be successful,” Teel said.
To vote for Andrew and Teel — CLICK HERE.