Massachusetts 9-Year-Old Raises $4,000 and Donates 4,000 lbs of Food to Local Food Pantries
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
It's not every day that you see or read about a 9-year-old doing more for his community than most adults ever have.
Well, a 9-year-old boy from Mansfield, Massachusetts, is doing just that: a whole lot of good for his community.
Belmond Schwartz's service to his community started with him questioning his parents, like many children do, about something he saw on the other side of the country.
"I saw tents on the streets and I had never seen them before in my life," Belmond said of his California trip last year in a WVCB article. "So I asked parents what it was, and they told me that people couldn't afford to live, so they had to live in tents and they didn't have very much."
Belmond took that information and ran with it. Last year, when he was only 8, he started collecting food and money donations to turn into a food drive.
He was able to raise enough money and a weeks worth of food, donating it all to local shelters, food pantries, etc. near his hometown. He recruited friends, family, and even chain stores like Walmart, Big Y, Target, and Stop & Shop.
Here he is on News Center 5, last year (2021).
Last year was only the beginning. Belmond promised that the following year, 2022, would be bigger and better.
And it was, starting with the official organization of Belmond's nonprofit: Belmond's Wish.
In lieu of Belmond's 9th birthday, which is around Thanksgiving, Belmond held a "Belmond's Wish" event at Camp Maplewood in Easton, according to WCVB.
Hundreds of people came to support Belmond and his dreams of giving back to the community. Not only individuals, but family, friends, and big box stores as well.
"Walmart helped and other organizations helped us get all this food – 4,000 pounds of food, which is more than double what we received last year, which is amazing," Lily Schwartz said to WVCB. "He (Belmond) believes if he can give up a little, then you can give a little. And if we all give a little, then it'll be a lot."
The effort raised 4,000 pounds of food and $4,000, but like last year, Belmond promised even more for 2023.
Thanks for all you do, buddy!