polo ralph lauren sport old reached out to homeless
Eight year old Dawson Kenyon’s long term goal is to become an astronaut and be the first person to land on Mars.
But for now, the blue eyed third grader at Timber Ridge Elementary School in Albany has a more earthbound mission: His Dawson’s Universe of Kindness is gathering and distributing food and clothing for needy persons in the mid valley.
“One night, we were talking about God at home and we started talking about homeless people and how we could help them,” he said. “I see people holding up signs near restaurants and I’ve wondered what the signs were for.”
His parents, Ashley and Sean Kenyon, explained the situation to Dawson and his sister, Joclynn, 5.
“Dawson said he wanted to help,” Ashley Kenyon said. “At first, he wanted to hand out Thanksgiving meals and we said that would be very hard for him to do. But he insisted he wanted to help.”
That’s when Dawson came up with the idea to gather items for the homeless.
His mother set up a “Dawson’s Universe of Kindness” Facebook page to help spread the word.
When Dawson isn’t studying or rehearsing for an upcoming school play (he plays a cowboy), he enjoys looking at maps, globes and watching TV shows about outer space, such as “Cosmos.”
That’s where the word “universe” comes in. Kindness?
“I like outer space, it’s kind to do this kind of thing and I’m the one doing it,” Dawson explained.
The project began about two weeks ago.
“He just kept bringing it up,” Ashley said. “Dawson has always had a very kind heart.
“The entry was so full we couldn’t open the door,” Ashley said.
The next hurdle facing the young philanthropist was deciding where to take all of the goodies.
“We used the Internet to show Dawson different charities that could benefit, such as Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul,” Ashley said. “When he saw the Blessing Box, he knew that’s what he wanted to help. We went over to the Blessing Box on Salem Avenue and Dawson saw people getting food and a woman getting some clothing. We came home and Dawson was excited to donate there.”
Founded two years ago by Christine Rayburn, the Blessing Box is just that: a tall cabinet that sits near the sidewalk of her home. It’s filled with food such as cereal and nutrition bars, and canned or packaged items that don’t need a stove for preparation. Give what you can.”
Rayburn said the box provides extra food such as canned goods and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for 500 to 1,000 persons per month.
A family friend surprised Dawson by making a T shirt with “Dawson’s Universe of Kindness” printed on it, along with stars of the universe.
“A woman in Salem heard about Dawson and asked us to come up to where she lives to pick up boxes of shoes, sweaters, hats and blankets,” Ashley said. “She lives in an assisted living facility and can’t drive. We visited her and invited her to spend Thanksgiving with us. We’re going to pick her up and bring her to our house for dinner.”