Winnipeg Harvest has received more than $1,000 worth of much-needed infant formula from a 10-year-old boy who's taking the cause to heart.
Atticus McIlraith said he heard about the food bank's serious need for infant formula and jumped into action.
He dropped off $971 worth of formula at CBC Manitoba during its all-day Harvesting Hope radiothon on Friday morning. Since then, he has received even more donations.
"It just happens to me sometimes. I get this little nagging feeling like I got to help," he said.
Atticus said he asked his principal at J.B. Mitchell School if he could collect donations of infant formula, or cash donations for purchasing formula, at the school's Christmas concerts.
"I went on the PA system, and then they started coming in — like, not even at the concert, but before the concert," he said.
"Our goal was $1,000. We went over."
Even after Atticus dropped off the large donation of formula on Friday morning, J.B. Mitchell principal Marie Giasson said more people have come in to donate.
"We've had grandparents coming in, we've had alumni students coming in that have been saying, 'I heard this on the news. This child has really touched my heart, I really want to donate,'" Giasson said.
'He was born with this,' says mom
Atticus's mother, Sharon McIlraith, says part of her son's drive is due to his Asberger syndrome, but she believes it goes much deeper than that.
"He was born with this," she said.
"He was gifted to us with this gift, and we as a family need to honour that this was what he was gifted with."
McIlraith said it's not the first time Atticus has leaped into action — he raised $1,000 for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
"I am so proud that I have this child who sees the world in a way that he feels he can do something about it," she said.
"It doesn't matter how little he is, it's important that he make a difference."
Winnipeg Harvest executive director David Northcott says Harvesting Hope has highlighted the overwhelming generosity of Winnipeggers.
"I think he should feel really strong in his spirit that he gets this planet. If you care for one another, you can change the face of the planet," Northcott said of Atticus.
"I've got great hope for our future. I've got great hope for Winnipeg Harvest's future. And if people like that get involved, I think we can fix the poverty issue pretty quickly."
As for Atticus, he said he takes his gift in stride.
"Giving is never a bad thing to do," he said.
"No matter how old you are or how young you are, you are able to give."