Small kids with huge hearts fill a big need

KINGSTON — The response three young Kingstonites received from their neighbors on Barrett Road during a self-organized money drive for Poulsbo Fishline was bigger than expected.

Sisters Hope and Olivia Gurney, 8 and 5 respectively, and their brother, Joshua Iles, 6, wanted to make a difference in the world. They were watching the children’s show, Zoom, on PBS recently when they got the idea to raise money to help a local food bank.

The kids spent one May afternoon walking around their neighborhood, knocking on doors and asking for donations for Fishline. For unanswered doors, the three kids put a plastic bag on the doorstep with a note explaining their efforts.

“We are collecting pennies for Fishline and we are doing it because we are buying food for people who don’t have any,” read the note. “Will you please put your extra pennies or change in the bag. Please leave it on your front porch. And we will come back tomorrow. Even if it is a little bit of money, that’s okay.”

The next day, their mother Crystal Gurney said the kids were up at 6:30 a.m. ready to collect donations.

Crystal explained most residents weren’t up that early, so they went out the following afternoon to pick up $106 in donations, nine of it in dollar bills and the rest in change.

The kids had so much money, the donation bags were ripping at the seams, Crystal explained.

The trio received a little help lugging it home when they came across a woman who had a walker with a basket. She offered to help the kids carry the cash to their house.

The kids and their mother then went to Silverdale and had the change — which amounted to 19 pounds of donations — counted.

The kids wanted to go shopping for food, so with money, a list and ideas in hand, they paid a visit to the Kingston Albertson’s and purchased a cartload of items including healthy foods, cereal, macaroni and cheese, canned food and “13 jars of baby food,” Hope said.

“The whole back of the van was covered with bags of food,” Crystal said.

Hope said they organized the fund-raiser because they wanted to help others in need.

“We felt sad for people who didn’t have any food,” she explained.

Joshua had more self-determining reasons.

“Because I wanted to,” he remarked.

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