Taya Skeete started her own tie-dye business during the pandemic, not anticipating how wildly successful it would turn out to be.
Together with her parents and other family members, the 12-year-old makes on average more than 100 T-shirts a week.
They typically spend weekends making shirts, scrunchies, dog bandanas, hats and everything in between — all done in her signature style: tie-dye.
Taya’s mother, Jasalynn Skeete says Taya has always been kind and generous and spent her March break one year handing out bottled water and granola bars to homeless people on Spring Garden Road— all purchased with her own money.
That’s when Taya got the idea that she wanted to give back to her community in Halifax’s North End in an even bigger way. She noticed little book pantries popping up around the city and decided she wanted start one for food, to help with food insecurity.
“I saw a few videos on YouTube of people feeding the homeless and it inspired me to want to go and feed people. And then once I started my business, I wanted to start the food pantry.” she said.
Her family rallied behind her to get her pantry up and running. Her step-grandfather did the building, while her aunt designed and painted them.
Heart to Heart pantry started three weeks ago. Taya replenishes the food on a weekly basis with non-perishable food items, diapers and toiletries.
Jasalynn says she is extremely proud of Taya’s vibrancy, kindness and generosity.
“She just makes me want to be a better person like to do more in every way,” she said.
The pantry is located on Murray Warrington Park on Brunswick Street.
“My slogan is give what you can and take what you need. It means if you need any food or anything like that, you can come and take what you need and if you know you want to help the community, you could give what you can,” said Taya.
Taya told Global News that although she is still undecided what she wants to do when she is older, career wise, she knows she always wants to give back.
“I’ll probably start something bigger than just a pantry. Not really sure yet but I’ll make sure to give back to the community,” she said.