For one St. Catharines kid, giving back is a big part of the back-to-school experience.
With hopes of being a marine biologist one day, 10 year-old Lincoln McGuire is a Grade 5 student who is helping other students prepare for school.
McGuire and his family are donating backpacks full of plush bears, school supplies and lunch boxes to nearby schools, an act he said was inspired by his older brother.
According to McGuire, when leaving the grocery store he watched his older brother give away his can of pop to a homeless person and that moment inspired him to want to give.
“I don’t know why, I just have a kind heart,” McGuire said.
For McGuire, the phrase “just love people” has become a slogan often attached to his charitable donations, as well as the logo he prints on T-shirts.
His mother, Tamara McGuire, said her son’s desire to give is something he’s been fostering for years. Originally, Lincoln wanted to give back to homeless people in St. Catharines. The transition to helping schoolchildren is just the latest in the young boy’s charitable actions.
Earlier in the year, for his 10th birthday, Lincoln took the money he was gifted and turned it into 30 Tim Hortons gift cards and gave them to the Niagara Paramedic Association to give out to those in need.
“You have to lead by example,” Tamara said while reflecting on teaching her kids about caring for those less fortunate. According to her, the example is not limited to parents teaching children.
“They've made us better people. I've got to be honest, I think we'd be more selfish people if we didn't have our kids.”
Tamara said she was incredibly proud of her son and that his younger siblings now followed suit, turning backpack prep into a fun family activity.
She said the community so far had responded to them with gratitude and other organizations in the area had donated backpacks and supplies to the family to give out.
In total, over 118 backpacks were prepared by the McGuire family, with donations from the Niagara Paramedic Association and Presstime, a screen printing business in Welland. Through the help of the school board, donations were made to schools that were deemed the most in need.
“I think you just have to listen to your kids and give them that chance to build their dream and to help them with that process,” said Tamara, explaining her role as a parent in her son’s desire to help.
“I don't want to do something, just to get something. Why do I do it? So I see a smile on their face,” Lincoln said.
Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News