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Birthday girl Sélah, 10, gives to charity

A homeless woman encountered on a family holiday to Florida inspired a ten-year-old girl to turn her birthday into a fundraiser for charity.

Sélah Wilson said: “It made me want to help.”

The youngster said she was in a car at a junction in Orlando in the summer with her mother, Patrice Wilson, and her godmother, Nikkisha Ming, when she spotted the woman.

Sélah said: “We were waiting at a stop light and a woman was walking through the cars with a sign. It said ‘Please help — I am hungry'.”

The Paget Primary School sixth grade pupil said the sight made her decide to do something to help others.

Sélah added she chose the Salvation Army as her birthday charity because her mother had a friend who worked there.

Her mother explained the family decided to help the charity's Christmas drive, one of its biggest events of the year.

Ms Wilson added: “We don't do things to be recognised — we do good things because that's what we're supposed to do as humans.”

Sélah's father, Don Wilson, said he hoped it would inspire other people to donate to charity.

Sélah turned 10 on September 3, with her party the following Saturday at the family's Paget home.

Her invitations, which asked for donations instead of gifts, raised a total of $500.

Sélah said: “My friends thought it was pretty cool.”

She added her older sister, Kalay Hollis, 22, told her it was “nice”.

Major Dena Hepditch, who has taken over the Salvation Army's family services division and is responsible for the charity's food bank and Christmas programmes, said Sélah's gesture was an example of “young people realising they are blessed and deciding to be a blessing”.

She added: “It's nice to see young people taking the initiative to raise money when they see need.”

Major Hepditch said the Salvation Army's meals programme at its North Street Citadel in Hamilton had pupils who volunteered to fulfil their community service hours.

She added: “A number of them have continued coming. It seems the younger generations are really into social justice and want to make a difference.”

Giving back: Sélah Wilson with parents Don and Patrice Wilson. For her 10th birthday, the Paget Primary pupil chose the Salvation Army as her birthday charity in lieu of gifts (Photograph by Jonathan Bell)

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Published September 18, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated September 18, 2018 at 7:48 am)

Birthday girl Sélah, 10, gives to charity

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