• 57°

Birthday giving: Kindergartner asks for canned goods over presents

FAITH — Classmates at Faith Elementary School describe Rose Vickers as “sweet,” “kind” and empathetic. But until a few weeks ago, the kindergartner kept a low profile.

Now, most of the student body knows who she is.

Just on the cusp of 6 years old, Rose decided to forgo presents or a birthday party this year. Instead, she asked people to donate canned goods.

“Because people don’t have food,” she said.

Rose was inspired by a sermon at her church and a conversation with her mother about those affected by recent hurricanes. And the wheels in her head turned and turned.

“I came up with the idea while I was in bed,” Rose said.

When she told her mother she wanted to hold a canned food drive for her birthday instead of getting presents, her mother contacted the school.

Rose is shy and just a few months into her first year of school, so other students stepped in to help. Faith Elementary’s budding 4-H club — in its first year — took on the bulk of the project.

Club President Wendy Thompson, a fifth-grader, said club members made posters to put around the school and went knocking door-to-door at classrooms to pick up donations.

Rose said she never doubted the school would collect a lot of cans.

“She’s a big person,” Wendy said of Rose.

Most people, Wendy said, would have heard that there are people in need and shrugged it off.

“Ninety percent of the world is like that. Then there’s the 10 percent. … There’s a kindergartner who understood through a church sermon that people need help,” Thompson said.

The group and other students were encouraged by teacher Crystal Wagoner, who knows Rose and her family personally. When it comes to a giving nature, Rose “gets it honestly.”

“She’s just an amazingly kind little girl,” Wagoner said.

Student and 4-H Vice President Erin Augustson said she was inspired by a talk Wagoner gave to students about the food drive.

“She gave this big speech, ‘I know this person by heart; she’s really special,’” she said.

When 4-H students agreed to help collect cans for Rose, they hadn’t met her. But that didn’t stop them from spending two weeks carrying boxes and bags full of cans and other goods to be stacked in a school office.

“The last day you couldn’t see the wall,” Wendy remembered.

“It looked like a cardboard castle — but with cans,” Erin added.

All in all, students at Faith Elementary collected about 1,000 cans over a two-week period. On Friday, Rose and her family picked up the goods and delivered them to Rowan Helping Ministries and to nearby schools with higher levels of need.

Left to right: Jillyen Michael, Erin Augustson, Wendy Thompson and Gryffin Bowman.
Members of Faith Elementary’s brand-new 4-H club helped collect cans for kindergartener Rose Vicker’s birthday. Many in the group had never met Rose. Rebecca Rider/Salisbury Post

While no incentive was given to students, they’ve found the experience rewarding nonetheless.

“I felt good because I knew I was helping someone,” Gryffin Bowman said.

“I feel really good about being able to give people a lot of food after all the disasters,” Wendy said.

And the group is impressed that the idea came from someone so young.

“Out of kindergarten through fifth grades, a kindergartner decided to do that,” Erin said.

As for Rose? She said she is happy with the success of the drive — and is looking forward to turning 6 on Thursday.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

Comments

Local

Natoli promoted to assistant county manager, will retain human resources director title

Education

Attendance restriction lifted for RSS graduation ceremonies

Business

Rowan Chamber of Commerce will host in-person Power in Partnership on Thursday

Business

Rowan EDC will undergo name change, alter board requirements with updates to bylaws

Nation/World

Israel strikes Gaza tunnels as truce efforts remain elusive

Nation/World

Supreme Court to take up major abortion rights challenge

Nation/World

Biden boosting world vaccine sharing commitment to 80M doses

Crime

Man charged for stowing away on Norfolk Southern train, impeding railroad operations

Local

Group will protest treatment of Georgia woman during 2019 traffic stop

Crime

Man overdoses at Piedmont Correctional Institute

Crime

Sheriff’s Office: Two men escape from jail, found in bushes on Fulton Street

Ask Us

Ask Us: When will North Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue be resurfaced?

Local

Political Notebook: Rowan’s lawmakers pass 140 bills into the opposite chamber before deadline

Local

Police chief to present use of force policy; city manager to present 2021-22 budget

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on charges of felony larceny, possession of stolen vehicle

Coronavirus

CDC director says mask turnaround based solely on science

News

Catawba College hosts three in-person commencement ceremonies

Local

With high case loads causing numerous staff departures, Child Protective Services seeks more positions

Education

Livingstone College graduates celebrate ‘crossing the finish line’ during commencement celebration

Coronavirus

Rowan sees 4 new COVID-19 deaths as mask mandate lifted, vaccines administered continue decline

Local

Spencer is latest town updating its development ordinance

Local

Salisbury native Kristy Woodson Harvey makes NY Times bestseller list

Local

Board of Commissioners will convene for third time in May

Business

Biz Roundup: Salisbury, Kannapolis among recipients of Region of Excellence Awards