Compassion comes in all sizes

Meet Sebastian: A Tiny Hunger Hero Making a Huge Impact

Every week you can find Sebastian setting up a table at school selling cookies, oranges, Wagon Wheels (our personal favourite) and more.

Sebastian is a Backpack Buddies Hunger Hero - a young person that champions the cause of childhood hunger by raising money and awareness to help bridge the weekend hunger gap for kids across Metro Vancouver.

This Kids-Helping-Kids model is central to our mission at Backpack Buddies. Our team works with ‘buddy schools’ like Sebastian’s to raise money and pack Backpack Buddies to empower young students to build their own understanding and empathy, and to be the force of change in their communities through volunteering.

Through his weekly snack sale, Sebastian raises enough funds to pack over 100 Backpack Buddies every month.

“No kid should suffer from hunger,” he says emphatically when asked why he does it. “Sometimes I get really hungry but lunch period is coming. But imagine being hungry all weekend without food and then trying to focus at school on Monday.”

And this is really just the beginning. Sebastian has a goal of carrying on his weekly snack sales to support Backpack Buddies right through to Grade 12.

“It’s pretty surprising [kids go hungry] in Vancouver - it doesn’t seem like a place where kids are starving,” Sebastian says. “ It’s important they know they’re cared about.”

Students’ experience with Backpack Buddies broadens their worldview significantly. It builds empathy, perspective and sets them up to be adults who consider the impact their lives can have on others who are not as fortunate as they are. If every student had an opportunity to learn like this, wouldn’t they get along better as adults? Would they be more compassionate? More generous? I believe so.
— Beth McCracken, Retired Educator + Founding Board Member of Backpack Buddies