TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Riverview School Grade 6 student Katie Wilson, 11, began a book drive at her school to collect books to put in Christmas hampers that will be distributed by the Samaritan House in Brandon. The book drive has expanded beyond the school with Brandonites donating hundreds of books so far.
Katie Wilson might not bear any resemblance to Santa Claus, but make no mistake, she’s got the same spirit for the holidays in her heart.
Katie, a Grade 6 student at Riverview School, has spearheaded an effort to make sure that everyone gets a little extra in their Christmas hamper from Samaritan House this year.
An avid reader, Katie is organizing a book drive with the hope of getting enough books to fill each one of the more than 1,000 hampers handed out each year.
"I really like reading a lot," Katie said. "And I did it because some people don’t have the things that we have and it’s good to read."
While she has already collected hundreds of books, Katie said there is more work to be done.
She even donated some of her own favourite books to the cause, to make sure she reaches her goal.
"It feels really good to help," she said. "It makes you feel really good to know that you’re helping someone in need."
Her mother, Sandra Wilson, said she got the idea for the book drive last year and has been scheming about how to pull off the collection of the books ever since.
"Her teacher (Lynn Nicol) really encouraged the kids to expand their social conscience," Wilson said. "She loves reading so much, so it’s something that she wanted to make sure everyone got the chance to experience. She really wants to get the books so that people could have literacy nutrition so that people had nutrition for their brain."
The act of kindness didn’t come as a surprise to the people closest to Katie, who even at such a young age has demonstrated time and time again that it’s better to give than receive.
"It’s kind of her own gift because she is so excited to be able to do this for other people," Wilson said.
Wilson said so far the response to the drive has been great and anyone wishing to donate to the book drive can drop off a book, before Thursday, at Riverview School, which is located at 1105 Louise Ave. East.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 17, 2012