Seven-year-old Mackenzie Hennigar is doing her part to help alleviate the suffering of Toronto’s homeless people.
While in the car with her mother, Mackenzie saw some people on the sidewalk asking for money. She asked why they were doing that, and her mom Dana replied that they were homeless and needed the money to survive.
When they got home, Mackenzie decided to “make a charity” and to donate the money to an agency that helped the homeless. She talked to her great-grandmother, Mary Mann, a member of St. Martin, Bay Ridges in Pickering, who told her about the work of All Saints Church-Community Centre in downtown Toronto.
All Saints, a church and an outreach ministry of the Diocese of Toronto, provides a drop-in space and programs for some of the city’s most marginalized people, including the homeless.
Mackenzie and her mom visited All Saints’ website and watched videos about how All Saints helped the homeless and others. Then Mackenzie started asking people for money – family members, her teacher, her school’s principal and daycare staff. She raised $150. She also sent every donor a thank-you note, telling them where the money would be going.
Due to the pandemic, she couldn’t give the money in person to All Saints, so her mother sent an electronic transfer instead. Mackenzie is looking forward to the day when she can visit in person.
Dana said she is very proud of her daughter. “She noticed a problem and took action and that says a lot,” she said.
The Rev. Dr. Alison Falby, priest-in-charge of All Saints, thanked Mackenzie for her efforts. “I was very moved to hear that Mackenzie had been thinking about people in need during an especially challenging time. When I asked one of our folks how I should thank her, he said I should tell her that her heart is a blessing to our community and that she should stay who she is. I couldn’t have said it better myself.”