Seven-year-old Rowan Walroth (right) donated just shy of $3,000 to a Vernon food bank in March 2021. (Contributed)

Seven-year-old Rowan Walroth (right) donated just shy of $3,000 to a Vernon food bank in March 2021. (Contributed)

B.C. 7-year-old discovers locals are struggling, raises $3K for food bank

Rowan Walroth read a book about boys who dared to make a difference, and decided to become one

A young Vernon boy’s early discovery of the power of helping others has led to thousands of dollars raised for locals in need.

Fawn Ross is feeling like a spoiled parent, having been privy to an inspiring development in her son Rowan Walroth, who went from learning about the struggles locals are going through to donating nearly $,3000 in cash and provisions to the Vernon Salvation Army House of Hope food bank Friday, March 31.

Ross chalks it up as one of those special insights into human kindness that only parenthood can provide.

“It was fun watching that excitement grow for him,” she told the Morning Star.

It started with a book the family read together called Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks.

“The whole premise of the book is it’s different boys all through history who saw a problem or chose to change it or tried to fix something that they saw in the world, and so he was curious about that and asking questions,” Ross said.

From there she watched as Rowan quickly learned that there are people in need locally, and made the leap to seeing himself as an agent of change.

READ MORE: Penticton’s Discovery House raised over $14,000 and dished out over 1,800 bowls of soup

The total amount Rowan raised was $2,927.58, to be exact; he did the math himself.

In fact, Rowan’s parents made a point to give him the space to lead the project from start to finish once he got the idea.

“The real take-home for us was that we often assume that our kids are too young to understand big problems when the reality is they can both understand them and be the ones to take the initiative to do something about it,” Ross said.

Rowan started out by figuring out how much it costs to support a single family, creating a goal to buy one of every item on the food bank’s ‘wish list’ per family.

He then asked the next logical question, one that children his age don’t often ask: how much do groceries cost?

“So that was a big shocker for him, since his personal equity was about 10 bucks,” his mother said, laughing.

Adversity struck the way it often does for teenagers who get their first job; it turns out making money isn’t as easy as it sounds.

“First he started trying to earn money and he realized that that was hard,” Ross said.

“Then he started talking about the project with other people, and people started getting interested in what he was doing.”

Rowan collected donations from kids his age — change given readily from their piggy banks — and secured donations from several Vernon businesses. Another individual agreed to donate $1 for every child that relies on the food bank in Vernon, which Rowan found out was about $350 worth.

He even convinced someone to pledge $10 for every goal scored at a local hockey game.

“It was really neat to see how people got involved in their own way,” his mother said.

In the end, he raised enough to supply dozens of families with one of every item on the wish list.

Ross said her son was thrilled when he’d raised enough for the first family, as well as for the many that followed.

“By the end, he was at 62 sets.”

Granted, 62 gallons of milk and the other wish list items were a lot to drop off all at once, so they decided to drop off 10 of everything and donate the rest in cash to the food bank.

Beyond discovering the good feeling that comes with helping others, Rowan also struck upon a key insight when it comes to rallying support for a cause.

“He figured out really quickly that people want to be part of the excitement,” Ross said. “For people, it’s not so much about the money, it’s being a part of it.”

It was a lot to take on for a shy seven-year-old, but learning to share his ideas with others was an added bonus.

“The skills he learned along the way and the knowledge he’s gained from those who assisted has been incredible.”

For Rowan, the most fun parts of the campaign were the excitement he’d created and shared in the community, and “seeing just how many groceries we raised for the food bank.”

He added anyone reading his story can follow suit and dare to get involved with the food bank or their cause of choice.

READ MORE: Service to others part of Lake Country teen’s world


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Donation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A mushroom grower plans to plan new mushrooms in fallen trees in the Kaslo Community Forest. File photo
Kaslo mushroom farmer given green light for unique project

Robin Mercy will plant mushrooms in the Kaslo Community Forest

Nelson dancers Glynis Waring, Slava Doval and Amanda Papailhou, and musician Nella Banner, premier Respired on April 11. Photo: Submitted
New dance work the latest online offering from Capitol Theatre

Local performers will unveil Respired beginning April 11

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Most Read