11-year-old's birthday party is a hot meal for hundreds

A B.C. boy celebrated his 11th birthday this weekend by dishing out chicken curry and rice pilaf to hundreds of people in need in downtown Victoria. The idea came from his older sister, who died from cancer last year.

Armaan Sohi decided to honour his older sister's memory by feeding the hungry, as she wanted to do

Armaan Sohi and his sister, Subha, pose for a photo the summer she was diagnosed with bone cancer. Armaan decided to honour her memory by helping feed the hungry on his 11th birthday this year. (Sohi family)

A boy in Victoria, B.C., celebrated his 11th birthday this weekend by dishing out chicken curry and rice pilaf to hundreds of people in need.

"I always get parties but so many other people don't get as much," Armaan Sohi told CBC News.

Sohi said he decided to celebrate his special day by helping others after giving change to a homeless man this year and then wishing he'd done more.

I always get parties but so many other people don't get as much.- Armaan Sohi, 11, of Victoria, B.C.

"I felt bad that I didn't give him more, so I asked my mom if I could just go back quickly, and he wasn't there," Sohi said. "I felt really bad, so I asked my mom if one day we could go to the homeless shelter, and my mom told my grandma about that and she said that maybe doing it on my birthday was [an] awesome [time] to do it."

Sohi was also inspired by the memory of his older sister, Subha, who died last year at age 20.

"My sister was diagnosed with bone cancer and this was something that she always wanted to do," he said. "A couple of summers ago she asked to do this, but we never got the time because she ended up getting sick. And my mum always said we'll do it when she's better, but since she never did, we decided to do it now." 

The family worked together to prepare meals for nearly 300 people and served the food Saturday at Our Place Society, on Pandora Avenue in downtown Victoria.

"It makes me feel very proud," said Jeevan Sohi, Armaan's mother. "He's a carbon copy of her. She was all about giving and making people feel good, and he definitely gets it from her."

The family has decided to make this meal an annual tradition, but they're changing the date next year.

"On my sister's birthday, which is September 5th," Armaan said.

With files from the CBC's Stephanie Mercier


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