The compassion of an 8-year-old boy from Steinbach has started what could become a movement.

Feeling sorry for homeless people in the region this Christmas season, little Drayton Loewen decided to take action. With his mother’s guidance, Drayton assembled several care packages that included items like juice boxes, dehydrated meals, thermal socks, and McDonald’s gift cards. On Tuesday, he delivered the gifts to Irene Kroeker at Steinbach Community Outreach for distribution to those in need.

Kroeker was delighted. “You know how cute little kids are,” she says. “This was just the most awesome experience!”

The spontaneous act of good will did not stop there either...

Guests of Steinbach Community Outreach enjoy coffee while waiting in lineUnder current COVID-19 restrictions, Outreach is unable to have more than one person inside their building at a time. Especially on Tuesdays, their busiest day of the week, guests are made to wait outside for their turn to come in and get their weekly provisions of food or hygiene products.

“People have to stay distanced from one another and be outside in the cold waiting,” Kroeker describes. “So we thought why not have a coffee stand out there so they can have nice hot coffee while they are waiting?”

Drayton leapt at the opportunity to help again. He and his mother quickly left to pick up steaming cups of coffee for each person in line. The gesture was very well received.

“I personally think that is the best way to show them they are welcomed and that we are trying our best in this Covid time to make them feel like they are special,” shares Kroeker. “It warms their hands and warms their hearts.”

Winter has not yet hit Manitoba with its fullest force, and Kroeker is keenly aware that the coldest and snowiest days of the season are ahead. With that in mind, she had an idea: if such a small boy like Drayton can instigate such a big act of kindness, other people can too. Inspired by the actions of her young friend, Kroeker is calling on the people of Steinbach to step up each Tuesday to donate coffee to the many Outreach guests who must wait outside.

As the pandemic continues to spread anxiety and disappointment, Kroeker believes buying coffee for people in need on a cold day is a relatively inexpensive way local residents can spread joy this holiday season instead. She hopes at least one person will take her up on her challenge every Tuesday for the rest of the winter.

Anyone who wants to warm the hearts and hands of Steinbach’s less fortunate is invited to call Irene Kroeker at 204.326.7954 or email Steinbach Community Outreach through their website.