Turning four meant something a little different this year for Cloverdale’s Sierra Sequeira.
That’s because instead of asking for gifts, the preschooler asked for donations for the Surrey Food Bank.
“Around our dinner table, we talk about what we’re grateful for,” said mom Chelle Sea Sequeira. “And a common theme is always that we are thankful we have food and water and a roof over our heads.”
As Sierra’s birthday approached, the idea arose to ask for donations for the Surrey Food Bank rather than presents.
“We wanted to give back and to teach her the gift of giving,” explained Chelle Sea.
That’s when Chelle Sea put the word out on Instagram and the donations started coming in. The Sequeiras were gobsmacked by the support as they raised $920 and 250 lbs of food.
They dropped it all off at the food bank July 7, Sierra’s birthday. Sierra arrived in a fairy costume.
When the Sequeiras began to ask for donations, Sierra asked that people give pasta and noodles, her favourite foods.
Sierra said she was excited to raise the food and said she wants to do it again next year for her fifth birthday.
Hansel Sequeira, Sierra’s dad, said he was grateful to all who donated.
“Sierra enjoyed it,” said Hansel. “I was just happy that she was excited about doing it and that she has a new awareness about helping others.”
Nenita De Torres, Sierra’s grandmother, said she was proud of her granddaughter.
“She’s just a very caring child,” said De Torres.
“Sierra has passion at her young age. She wants to spread love, kindness, and positivity to the community.”
Michelle Murray, communications manager for the Surrey Food Bank, said she hopes Sierra’s kindness rubs off on others.
“It’s just amazing,” said Murray. “I think it’s wonderful when kids donate.”
Murray said when a child donates to the food bank, it makes a difference in their life and creates a more caring person because the child gains an awareness of the needs of people that are less fortunate.
“You don’t realize the impact that that act has.”