'It makes me feel good': 9-year-old girl launches a project to help Montreal's homeless population
When it comes to her ambition, skills and all-around savviness, Kyra Milan Brown is more like a nine-year-old going on 30, the adults around her agree.
“She’s amazing. She also inspires me. How does she have the confidence to just go out there and do those things?” said Loreena Gabriel, a 35-year-old family friend who’s teamed up with Brown on a project to help members of Montreal’s homeless population this winter.
The duo is collecting an assortment of warm outerwear along with toiletries and snacks to hand out to people downtown on Dec. 8 who are living on the streets.
“Because it’s closer to winter and it’s very cold here I thought it was a good idea, so we just started,” Kyra explained.
They're inviting anyone who can to drop off items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, body wash, hand cream, sanitizers, masks, snacks, reusable water bottles and warm articles of clothing like socks, hats and gloves at the following locations by Dec. 8:
GIVING BACK RUNS IN THE FAMILY
Kyra comes by her generosity of spirit naturally. “My mom used to go to the women’s shelter and do their nails, so I got influenced because she helped people so I want to help people too,” she said.
And for the last couple of years, her family has been handing out what Kyra calls ‘kare bags’ to people they would encounter in their daily travels.
“It makes me feel good because I have this beautiful house with all this stuff inside,” the young Longueuil resident said.
“Not everybody gets to have this but it makes me feel good that I’m helping them and maybe just bringing them a step closer to having this, you know?”
The director of the Old Brewery Mission is especially impressed that Brown and Gabriel have decided to hand the gifts out themselves, saying that takes “courage,” calling them “his heroes.”
“We see too much of the exact opposite, which is people feeling scared and nervous around homeless people, stepping around them, not making eye contact,” said James Hughes.
“Sometimes the opportunity to make human contact, to acknowledge the existence of someone, to acknowledge their common humanity,” he said, can make someone’s day.
A similar mantra has guided Gabriel for some time. She is focused on the idea of lifting others in her community, so she can change lives, break "generational cycles," her website says, and build confidence.
That led her to create The Crown Project, an organization that has held seven similar winter drives in the past, among other charitable activities.
She also opens a regular pop-up shop around graduation time that hands out free suits and dresses to help “underprivileged millennials and Gen Z” students in Montreal look and feel their best.
“It’s just something I always wanted to do - to help others. I’m not rich, I didn’t grow up rich. In high school, in grade 11, I had two jobs so I could pay for prom and graduation and stuff,” said Gabriel, who now works in public relations.
And having worked downtown, she said she was struck by the numbers of homeless people who have to live rough especially during our harsh winters months, some freezing to death.
“I know this is only a small little thing that we’re doing but hopefully it helps and hopefully more people get involved to help the homeless population,” she said.
“It’s absolutely wonderful,” said Hughes, when asked what he thought of the pair’s initiative.
“We're all part of this system of care,” said Hughes.
Montreal Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
By now it's as predictable as the calls for thoughts and prayers: A mass shooting leaves many dead, and wild conspiracy theories and misinformation about the carnage soon follow. Within hours of Tuesday's school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, another rash began as internet users spread baseless claims about the man named as the gunman and his possible motives.
Families are sharing photos and stories of their loved ones, who lost their lives in a mass shooting in Texas that killed at least 19 children and two adults on Tuesday afternoon.
Conservative Party of Canada leadership hopefuls Scott Aitchison, Roman Baber, Patrick Brown, Jean Charest, Leslyn Lewis, and Pierre Poilievre squared off in the second official party debate on Wednesday night in Laval, Que.
Frustrated onlookers urged police officers to charge into the Texas elementary school where a gunman's rampage killed 19 children and two teachers, witnesses said Wednesday, as investigators worked to track the massacre that lasted upwards of 40 minutes and ended when the 18-year-old shooter was killed by a U.S. Border Patrol team.
Several parts of the country, including British Columbia and Canada's Maritime provinces, are likely to see wetter-than-normal conditions this summer, according to AccuWeather's annual summer forecast.
The Public Health Agency of Canada says it has now confirmed a total of 16 cases of monkeypox in the country, all in Quebec.
During an appearance on ABC's Good Morning America on Wednesday, adopted siblings Hannah Raleigh of Chicago and Limia Ravart of Montreal met in person for the first time after an ancestry test confirmed the two are in fact related.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cancelled plans to appear in person at a Liberal fundraiser in British Columbia Tuesday after RCMP warned an aggressive protest outside the event could escalate if he arrived, said a source close to the decision. The source spoke to The Canadian Press on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation publicly.
A jury in Portland has convicted a self-published romance novelist - who once wrote an essay titled 'How to Murder Your Husband' - of fatally shooting her husband four years ago.
Was your home damaged by the Ontario storm? Insurance companies say payouts could take weeks to process
The insurance industry says it could take up to six weeks to get an idea of how many hundreds of millions of dollars in pay outs will be required from the weekend storm that brought death and destruction to Ontario and Quebec, but that early estimates are substantial.
Police have released new video of a recent incident in which a vehicle was caught doing doughnuts and speeding along the shoulder of busy Ontario roadways.
People all across Ontario are getting creative when it comes to netting a secondary income, otherwise known as a “side hustle,” and many are turning to secondhand economies thriving on online platforms.
As the inquiry into Nova Scotia’s mass shooting moves its public proceedings to Truro, many of the family members affected by the tragedy and their lawyers are boycotting the proceedings over the next week.
Former Chief Anchor Steve Murphy offers a timely perspective on the Mass Casualty Commission and the difference 30 years after the Westray inquiry.
Speaking off-script at an event in Halifax Wednesday morning, Canada's Minister of Public Safety said he was gutted by the latest mass shooting south of the border - the 27th in a school this year alone.
Two men and one woman are facing charges Wednesday after police say their vehicle struck a London police cruiser and then the suspects fled the scene on foot over the weekend.
OPP and Southwest Middlesex fire are on the scene of a fatal collision Wednesday afternoon involving a tanker truck and a passenger vehicle.
Jeff Ducharme was in his home office when a young man in a truck pulled up, ran up to the front of his home in Norwich, Ont. and stole his pride flag in broad daylight.
Sault Ste. Marie city council is asking staff to prepare a report on group homes. This comes after Ward 1 Coun. Paul Christian brought forward concerns this week about two such homes.
There are currently a dozen statues at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes property, and all are from the 1950s.
It’s a sign that summer is on the horizon. Farmers’ markets are opening in cities and towns across the north.
The City of Calgary has recruited three people from the commercial real-estate sector in an effort to get a new event centre to replace the aging Scotiabank Saddledome.
After a massacre at a Texas elementary school, some are looking into safety protections against gun violence in Calgary's school system while mental health experts are offering advice for difficult conversations about mass shootings.
Those who haven't received their bill by the first week of June are asked to contact 311.
New details are emerging about the tragic incident that killed 27-year-old Shelby Humble-Neale on Saturday.
Waterloo regional police say evidence of gunfire found in McLennan Park in Kitchener is connected to another shooting incident in the nearby area of Windflower Drive and Windflower Crescent.
Two 29-year-old men have been seriously injured following a collision in Baden, Ont., with one needing to be airlifted to a hospital outside the region.
The decision to focus on urgent and emergency health care to avert long waits played a key role in B.C.’s current primary care crisis, and the costlier care is compounding the problem.
A social media video that captures the moment a man gets Tasered by a Vancouver police officer is prompting calls for more training for police going out mental health calls.
A judge has refused to grant a B.C. cannabis company an injunction against a man who used a list of email addresses the company accidentally sent to all shareholders against it.
If you visit downtown Edmonton in the next 11 days, you might see some strange and unusual sights. Art installations and musical performances are popping up throughout the area as part of Downtown Spark.
Even though they cheer for opposite teams, a proposal by a Flames fan at Game 4 of the Battle of Alberta received a resounding "yes" from the Oilers-loving bride to be.
The body of a missing canoer has been located in northeast Alberta.
After a major tragedy, should parents wait for their children to express their feelings before talking about it?
Not having an answer to all of your child's questions about tragedies like the Texas school shooting is perfectly okay, according to a grief therapist with the Canadian Mental Health Association.
Helping students break down academic and social barriers, more Temi robots coming to St. Clair College
The Community Integration through Cooperative Education (CICE) program at St. Clair College received a $20,000 boost Wednesday morning.
Windsor police arrest final suspect sought in Forest Glade shooting, Major Crimes Unit continues investigation
Windsor police have arrested another suspect related to the shooting near a Forest Glade bowling alley in April.
'All it takes is one': Sask. RCMP partner with Washington police to publicize disappearance of Mekayla Bali
Saskatchewan RCMP and the Washington State Patrol announced a collaboration of efforts to locate Mekayla Bali, who was 16-years-old when she was last on April 12, 2016 in Yorkton.
A new art exhibit at the George Bothwell Library is hoping to examine and remove the feeling of shame associated with people who are deaf and hard of hearing.
For those looking to hop the border into Manitoba for their camping seasons, it started off on the wrong foot for Duck Mountain Provincial Park.
The president of Hydro Ottawa says "with a little bit of luck" power will be restored along the Merivale Road area on Thursday, bringing power to another 15,000 to 20,000 customers still in the dark following Saturday's storm.
The Ottawa Catholic School Board says all schools with power will be open on Thursday, but 14 schools without power will remain closed.
Out of the tragedy of Saturday’s storm, come stories of people helping each other.
The Prime Minister toured the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, which is working to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.
Saskatoon Police Service says that the use and presence of potent new synthetic opioids known as nitazenes are difficult to track and monitor.
A 48-year-old semi-truck driver was killed in in a rollover near Meadow Lake on Tuesday.