Nfld. & Labrador

Sunshine Squad sprinkles random acts of kindness

Sherree Davis found herself facing the unthinkable just before Christmas last year.

'She hated to see people without things, so she would constantly be giving to them'

The Sunshine Squad has focused on causes and activities that Davis felt strongly about.

Sherree Davis found herself facing the unthinkable just before Christmas last year.

Her 17-year-old daughter, Alyssa Davis, was killed in a crash on the Conception Bay South bypass, a single-vehicle accident that resulted in dangerous driving and street racing charges for the other teenage girls in the car.

And while those charges work through the justice system, Sherree Davis has found a way to help her cope with the loss of her daughter: She's formed a charity group called the "Sunshine Squad." 

It's already more than 600 members strong, dedicated to performing random acts of kindness.

Davis involved in charity work

"We started doing things in Alyssa's honour in January," Davis told CBC Radio's St. John's Morning Show. That first event was participating in the Coldest Night of the Year walk for homelessness, a Choices for Youth fundraiser. "And then we were trying to find other things to honour her as well."

Alyssa was very involved in charity work, said Davis. "Anything she could donate to people, she hated to see people without things, so she would constantly be giving to them or helping out."

A core group of about 50 people organizes the events which have included donations to Emmanuel House, the Gathering Place and the Wiseman Centre, as well as surprising people who meant a lot to Alyssa Davis, like her swim coach, with gifts.

"We've been busy," said Sherree Davis. "Everybody wants to do some form of random act of kindness. When you do an individual act, it doesn't seem to do very much, so everybody's looking for help. So everybody just joined, and whatever I ask for, people just jump on board and help me."

Davis said she donates "every single day, every single minute" to the cause, looking for ideas, looking for donors, and people to surprise, and frankly said it's been her way of surviving the loss of her daughter.

'I knew I had to keep doing what she'd want to do'

"Alyssa and I were always involved in everything," she said. "Everywhere she went, everywhere I went, she went. She was my best friend, and we did everything together to help other people if possible, so I knew I had to keep doing what she'd want to do."

Davis said people who want to help can find the group's Facebook page under Sunshine Squad Sprinkling Sunshine.

With files from the St. John's Morning Show