Yorkshire schoolboy uses pocket money to buy Salvation Army food bank donations

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A generous nine-year old boy used his pocket money and cash raised from a sponsored bike ride to buy hundreds of items of food and toiletries to donate to The Salvation Army’s foodbank in Goldthorpe to help families struggling to make ends meet.

Kind-hearted George not only donated some of his clothes, but also brought milk, cereal, chocolate spread, pasta, nappies, washing powder and much more to the food bank which supports 40 people a week in the South Yorkshire town.

Having used his pocket money to donate in the past, George, from Goldthorpe, then raised £245 by cycling almost 35 miles in 12 days dropping off two tables worth of food just in time for the Easter holidays.

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George, who lives with his mum Gemma, dad Daniel and three-year-old sister, said: “I’ve got a lot of stuff and I know some kids haven’t got a lot so I thought if I give them something this would help them out. I want children to be happy. I hope other people will know what a difference it makes and will do it as well.”

George with Community Project Co-ordinator Jackie Kenning and Territorial Envoy Alison SykesGeorge with Community Project Co-ordinator Jackie Kenning and Territorial Envoy Alison Sykes
George with Community Project Co-ordinator Jackie Kenning and Territorial Envoy Alison Sykes

Gemma, 36, said: “We had been to Goldthorpe Salvation Army for a few of the free activity days they put on for children in the community. George was showing an interest in what The Salvation Army does and when I was sorting out some clothes to donate, he said ‘can I sort more clothes for them?’

“He wanted to do more and asked what else they needed. I spoke to Alison (Goldthorpe Salvation Army church leader) and she offered some suggestions. In the past he donated chocolate spread then cereal and milk. For Easter he bought a mix of staple food like tins, milk and pasta, some toiletries and nappies and treats like biscuits.

“I said I would buy the items but he insisted on using his own pocket money and the money he raised from his bike ride. He says ‘I don’t need it’. Rather than spending it on Xbox games, he wants to give it to other children.

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“When he donated he was smiling and said ‘have I done a random act of kindness today?’ And as we were leaving he said to Alison ‘I will see you next time, text my mum to let her know what you need!’

George's bike ride to raise money for Goldthorpe Salvation ArmyGeorge's bike ride to raise money for Goldthorpe Salvation Army
George's bike ride to raise money for Goldthorpe Salvation Army

“George has always been kind-hearted, but he has an understanding that there are children out there who are less fortunate than him. The school he goes to do free breakfast bagels and he asked me if that is because some children don’t get breakfast at home, so he is joining the dots.

“I’m immensely proud of him for what he’s doing at nine years old, I think he’s turning into a well-rounded person! He wants other children to know what he’s doing so they can be inspired to help too.”

Goldthorpe Salvation Army runs a weekly food bank as well as operating as a warm space, community drop in, signposting service helping people access benefits, health, refugee support, a uniform exchange. At the heart of the community, they regularly host family activity days.

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Territorial Envoy Alison Sykes, who leads Goldthorpe Salvation Army with Community Project Co-Ordinator Jackie Kenning, said: “George is a superstar! He is so generous in the way that he thinks about helping others above himself and is setting a great example.

“Need in Goldthorpe continues to increase with the cost of living crisis and we often find ourselves running short of items for our food bank, recently it has been items like nappies and baby milk, so generous donations like George’s make such a difference. He not only donates to our food bank, but gave his clothes to help others. This makes such a difference to families that are struggling so thank you so much to George and all our kind donors, we couldn’t do this without you.”

For more information on Goldthorpe Salvation Army visit https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/goldthorpe or search for them on Facebook.