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Home / Articles / Features / Feature Articles /  The Luck of the Homeless
. . . . . . .
Thursday, October 4,2012

The Luck of the Homeless

 

by Cierra Robinson | www.cierrarobinson.com

Flying onto an open palm or the hood of a car, this pop-culture icon is rarely swatted away. Many a child has wished upon its blackspotted, red back, borrowing its good fortune. This was Hannah Taylor’s favorite bug at age 7 and the perfect mascot for her Winnipeg, Manitoba organization to help the homeless of Canada, founded at age 8—The Ladybug Foundation.

 

“Ladybugs are good luck,” said the now-16-year-old Taylor. “We need good luck helping those living in poverty, and those who our foundation helps also need good luck.”

Before the foundation reached its stature today—supporting 55 shelters, soup kitchens and food banks across Canada and raising $3 million in funding from donations and fundraising 5-year-old Taylor witnessed a homeless man eating from a garbage dumpster in Winnipeg.

“It was the first time I had ever seen homelessness and I couldn´t forget about him. For about a year I worried about this man,” she said. A routine tucking in at bedtime and these words from her mother, "Maybe if you do something about it, your heart won´t feel so sad," changed everything.

Forging ahead with the tenacity of a 5-years-old and the help of her first-grade teacher Mrs. Hildebrand, bake and art sales were organized to raise funds. These small sales turned into large lunch meetings with whom Taylor called the “Big Bosses” to get their support to curb poverty.

Taylor is the difference between those who do and those who say they will.

“I was lucky enough to grow up knowing that age doesn´t define what you can achieve. I never knew that being 5 meant I had a smaller voice. My voice was just as big as everyone else´s,” she said.

Eight years later Taylor and her volunteers still haven’t stopped. The foundation has created national days to bring awareness to poverty, such as Red Scarf Day, where red scarves are worn to show support for Canadian hunger and homelessness, as well as a multimedia education resource “makeChange” for teachers and students in grades K-12, to educate and empower students across the globe.

This resource is being reconfigured into an online source that anyone can access. One of its goals is to demonstrate the limitlessness of age to make a difference. This mindset helped Taylor overcome the odds and stay the course to change the face of homelessness.

“Working with Ladybug has been hard but good work. I’ve never felt like giving up for two reasons. First, helping those who are homeless is a passion of mine and passion is like breathing; it never stops. Secondly, I have incredible friends, both from the streets and not, who always remind me that all of this matters,” she said.

The never-downtrodden Ladybug Foundation founder-activist and her volunteers “ultimately are about connecting more hearts” in the coming years she said, as she prepares to travel to Singapore, Africa and Sweden on speaking engagements and volunteer efforts to fight for homeless children and their rights.

For more information on The Ladybug Foundation and how you can get your students or children involved, visit: www.ladybugfoundation.ca

Cierra Robinson is a recent Florida Atlantic University graduate and local writer, artist and spoken word poet. Find out more about her at www.cierrarobinson.com

 

 

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