By: Michelle Poirier
Jaymee Irwin, 11, has been making fidget cubes in order to raise money for the Georgina Animal Shelter and Adoption Centre and to raise awareness for mental health.
“One of my main goals is to help animals. I’ve loved animals my whole entire life and I’ve also had bad mental health,” Jaymee said.
Jaymee’s mother, Nikole Irwin, posted a video Jaymee recorded to a local Facebook group where she explains the features of her fidget cube and her fundraising goal.
“She got a lot more orders than we ever though she would. And this isn’t something that we had suggested to her, she did the video and she was very insistent on wanting to put it online to show people that it was okay to talk about mental health,” Ms. Irwin said.
“Our family is open with mental health. Jaymee suffers from generalized anxiety and I do as well. She’s very open about it, talks to people about it and says it’s okay, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Jaymee said fidget toys and animals have helped her mental health. She currently has four pets, one bunny, one dog and two cats.
The fidget cubes take her approximately 15 to 20 minutes to make and she is charging $5 per cube, $3 from the proceeds will go toward the animal shelter. She has made just over 20 of the 120 orders she has gotten so far.
Each side of the cube has a different aspect, things like memory foam to squish, something to slide back and forth or something to shake.
Fidget toys can help people with anxiety, ADHD or other mental health issues calm or distract themselves during stressful situations.
The Facebook post has generated a lot of support, with residents offering to donate to Jaymee’s cause without needing a fidget cube in return. What she said she would do in this case is still make the fidget cubes, but donate them to her school for students who may need them.
Jaymee said she does not have a limit to the number of fidget cubes she is willing to make, she wants to make sure everyone is happy.
“She surprises me,” Ms. Irwin said. “We couldn’t be prouder.”
Ms. Irwin said they have talked to the Georgina Animal Shelter and Adoption Centre and that they are very grateful, surprised and are excited to meet Jaymee.
If you would like a fidget cube made by Jaymee, you can reach out to Nikole Irwin on Facebook.