Rowan Hickey, an incoming third-grader at Severna Park Elementary, spent the last two weeks collecting items to donate to St. Vincent de Paul’s summer camp. The Baltimore summer camp is for homeless children.
Rowan, whose father works in Baltimore, learned about the environment that homeless youths live in, and he wanted to help make it better.
“He decided he wanted to help some of these kids so maybe they would feel better about themselves and make better choices instead of causing trouble,” said Christine Hickey, Rowan’s mom.
Camp St. Vincent serves about 250 kids every summer, and they needed help providing some of the basics. With the permission of Principal Lorie Barnes from Severna Park Elementary, Rowan gave a flyer to all of the second grade classes asking for donations. In all, Rowan collected 30 beach towels, 22 bottles of sunscreen, 17 swimsuits, 28 goggles, 37 bottles of bubbles and 18 boxes of chalk.
“I really respected that, and I really liked that,” Rowan said of his classmates’ help. Those in Rowan’s class also wrote letters to the campers.
But it wasn’t just second-graders donating. Rowan received donations from many people in the school.
“Word spread, and some other families from different grades and some teachers, they all started supporting his cause, as well, and they all brought in some stuff,” Christine said.
Rowan dropped the donations off at the camp last week. Organizers wanted to use the donations to make bags for the campers containing the basics. Rowan plans to visit the camp to see his donations in use and meet some of the kids.
“To see his empathy and also his leadership skills come out as an eight-year-old, it’s really impressive,” Christine said. “We’re super, super proud of him.”