By: Michelle Poirier
Christmas is shortly upon us, and one Keswick teen is doing her best to spread the holiday cheer to those who might be struggling this year.
Piper Maggiacomo, 15, has taken it upon herself to create stockings for those in Georgina who are in need of a little extra help.
Her desire to help others was prompted by watching homeless people on the streets outside her Toronto hospital room.
“I go to Sick Kids every few months, and I always look out the windows, and I started counting how many homeless people I saw,” she said. “And then I just figured it’s really cold; I want to help them.”
With a little help from her mom Martina, Piper started gathering and handing out clothing, blankets and other necessities to the homeless.
“My mom posted on Facebook for donations, and then I collected them, put them all into bags, and then walked around Toronto,” she said.
Martina says she is proud of her daughter, and she cried when Piper asked to help those in need.
“She’s a sick kid, so she’s been a fighter all her life,” she said. “She just keeps a smile on her face and wants to give to other people.”
After four years of helping homeless people in Toronto, Piper decided she’d help out closer to home.
“I wanted to start something new,” she said. “Some kids want to have a Christmas but can’t, so giving them a Christmas is really big.”
Martina and Piper reached out to Susan Gorman, the executive director of Jericho Youth Services, who will be helping Piper deliver the stockings to the families that need them the most.
Piper and Martina would like to thank AT Photography, Leslie Vandkooy, Denise Sabath, Crystal Campbell-Poirier and Dustin Deveau for being the first to donate.
“As soon as I put the post up, they were right there with donations,” Martina said. “Originally, Piper said maybe 30 stockings. Now that the donations are coming in, we might actually be able to pull off something even bigger than what we wanted.”
Piper is collecting things you would usually find in a stocking: chocolate, candy, hair accessories, socks, little toys, personal grooming products, etc. She is creating stockings for all ages and genders and is hoping to have them done by December 20.
If you would like to donate to Piper’s Christmas stocking campaign, you can find Martina Maggiacomo on Facebook or email her at MMagic63@gmail.com.