Toy story: How 10-year-old helped the homeless

Jaylan Knapp with the personal-care bags he collected for Toowoomba’s homeless (The eRecord)

It’s often said that charity begins at home. For 10-year-old Jaylan Knapp, it is those without homes who need his charity the most. Source: The Catholic Leader.

The Toowoomba student spent the past two months gathering and packing 48 bags of personal-care items, which he has now given to his local homeless community.

When asked why this was important to him, Jaylan replied: “because they’re poor and they don’t have any money”.

The latest census figure shows that the number of Australians who are homeless has grown to more than 116,000. Almost 20,000 of those people live in Queensland.

“Instead of asking for money, Jaylan used a Facebook page called The Unconsumer Site to swap his toys and games for personal items like shampoo, conditioner, soap and toiletries,” Jaylan’s mother Kelly said.

“Sometimes Jaylan would swap things we didn’t need, like a jacket, for items he thought would be more popular, like a fishing rod; then he would put that item back on the page to get what he really needed,” Kelly said.

The bags were given to the Toowoomba branch of Rosies – Friends on the Street, before arriving in the hands of the needy.

“His generosity, for someone so young, is absolutely amazing,” Rosies’ Toowoomba co-ordinator Fay Stein said. She referred to Jaylan as “an exceptional, inspirational young man”.

Mrs Stein praised the time and effort Jaylan put into the project, which involved many hours working alone in the family shed on weekends and after school.

“A lot of thought went into this,” she said. “The personal-care items he collected are things that can really restore a person’s dignity. If you have a hot shower you feel like a different person.”

Rosies operates four outreaches a week in Toowoomba, servicing the needs of more than 150 people.


Christmas comes early for Toowoomba’s homeless thanks to little boy with a big heart (The Catholic Leader

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