This six-year-old girl wrote her own book to raise money for the homeless
When the time comes around for children to write their Christmas lists to ask Santa for what they want this year, there tends to be a mix of results. Sometimes they will ask for impossible things, like a ride on a unicorn or their own spaceship, or they will load the list with so many toys that no one (parent or Santa) will be able to make ends meet. But even the kindest of children rarely do what six-year-old Amelia Campbell did this December.
Amelia's walk to school in central London often brings her past homeless people hoping to get some change from passers-by or a roof over their heads. That's when she started asking her parents the difficult questions about the world.
"Why don’t they have a home? Can they come home with us? Why can’t they go back to their mums and dads? Why can’t we give them more money? Normal children’s questions," her mother, Jessie, said. "She was asking lots of questions and we answered them as best we could – sometimes it can be quite hard."
As best as they could, Jessie and her husband Andrew explained to their daughter that not everyone is as lucky as they are, even during the holiday season:
"We said that some people may not have mums and dads who would be happy to have them back at home; some people may be far away from home, such as refugees, and that we can’t open our homes to everybody."
In the area in which Amelia and her family live, nearly 3,000 people were recorded as sleeping rough in a set of statistics compiled by St. Mungo's homelessness charity. Some try to earn some money by selling the magazine Big Issue on the street, and it was after they bought one that Amelia had an idea.
Since Amelia said she had nothing to give them, she decided to write and sell her own story so that she could raise some money. "She was really troubled by the fact there was nothing she could do because she doesn't have much power as a child," her mother explained, "so that's where it came from."
Grabbing her crayons, Amelia set to work creating an illustrated story about a pair of dragons that went on holiday, which she titled 'The Two Dragons'. She made copies of the seven-page booklet and started to sell them for 50p to everyone she could - whether they be family, friends, or local children.
“I wanted to help the homeless because they have nothing at all,” she told The Independent. “I wrote a story because I wanted to make more money than my pocket money.”
After she made money on her own, her parents set up a crowdfunding page based on her idea, with further donations amounting to over £1,000 already. Half of the money will be given to the housing charity Shelter, while the rest will go to The Passage, a local charity that offers shelter and advice to those without homes.
Speaking to The Independent, Nicholas Wilson, a relationship manager at The Passage, said:
"It's wonderful. It's really heartwarming to see someone so young as Amelia has gone the extra mile, has been asking her parents questions, and wanted to do something."
"It's good for her because she feels like she's made an impact. It's a nice feeling when you're small."
Hopefully, Amelia's empathy and generosity will blossom into an adult who helps others in the same way. Regardless, what this 6-year-old got done before Christmas is inspiring to us all.