Six-year-old decides to give rather than receive on birthday
Instead of gifts for her sixth birthday, Tazara Pitcher asked for non-perishable foods.
Her idea was to donate them to the Family Centre – through government’s Covid-19 press conferences, the Somersfield Academy student learnt that there were people out of work and that some children might not have all the toys and food that she enjoyed.
“I had too many toys from my other birthdays,” said Tazara, who turned six on December 2. “So I thought about it and I asked my mom if we can donate to a family.”
Kleita Pitcher said she and her daughter had faithfully watched the press conferences and that there had been a lot of discussion about what was said.
“I would explain to her about people in need and how some people didn’t have food, possibly electricity. She just wanted to help somebody. [I thought] it would be great if another child was impacted by her giving.”
When the planned birthday celebration on December 6 was postponed because of the rising number of Covid-19 cases, Tazara asked if she could donate on her own.
“I thought it was better to be safe than sorry,” Ms Pitcher said. “I didn’t want to put children and their parents at risk. We thought we would proceed with her donation as we had already reached out to Family Centre and I’m sure they were expecting it and also, basically, to help other people that we know are struggling in the community. Tazara realises she has enough toys to play with; some children don’t even have food.”
Despite that, she admitted, it was “quite shocking” to hear her daughter say she would “rather get nothing” so she could help someone else.
Ms Pitcher added to a gift voucher she had at Miles Market, enabling Tazara to donate just over $400 of items to the charity. The Pitts Bay Road grocer offered a discount once it learnt where the items were going.
“She actually went with me to pick things out. It wasn’t like we came up with the idea and she was secluded from it all. She went through the process.
“I contacted Miles about the initiative we were going to do and they extended a five per cent discount to us. It sounds like a little, but it went a long way.”
The plan had been to have roughly 33 guests at the party which would have made the donation more substantial.
“One of her friends, Jasper, still donated to the cause,” Ms Pitcher said.
On the shopping expedition to Miles Market Tazara made sure that her mother chose lots of Christmas treats in addition to the more practical items.
Handing it all over to representatives from the Family Centre on December 4 made her feel “happy” she said.
“We got some Christmas stuff so they could enjoy Christmas. We gave them Christmas cookies and cake that is Christmassy.
“Some of it was my idea and some of it my mom’s.”
The family regularly gives toys and clothes that Tazara has outgrown to people in need but the donation to Family Centre was the first of its kind for them.
“We postponed her party in hopes that we could have it when everything clears up,” Ms Pitcher said, adding that there would be a renewed call for non-perishable items at that time. “Moving forward, she realises she can give a lot of her toys and other things to Family Centre as well.”
Although she did not receive gifts from her family or friends, Tazara did get a surprise visit from one of her Covid-19 press conference heroes, Wayne Caines.
“She just grew a liking to the [former] minister of national security and we reached out to him,” Ms Pitcher said.
“He was actually going to attend the party and surprise her but of course that didn’t happen, Covid kind of rained on the parade.”
Mr Caines instead met with Tazara on her birthday and brought a “little package with different things” for one of his biggest fans.
“I thought that was really nice of him to do that,” said Ms Pitcher who arranged the meeting through a mutual friend.
“Tazara didn’t know it was him when he came because, of course, he had his mask on. But I think that was a nice gift within itself. To her that was something special. I think that was a nice touch for her birthday, something she will remember.”