Ryder Moore, 8, raised more than $4,200 to purchase boots and winter gear for people living in poverty in Maple Ridge, as of the third annual Ryder’s Rainboots campaign.
Perched atop a stepstool, Ryder reached across tables and handed boots and winter necessities to people at the Salvation Army on Wednesday.
“I hope these boots keep your feet warm and dry,” the Grade 3 student from Kanaka Creek Elementary said as he handed out the gear.
This year, he purchased enough warm boots, gloves, socks, toques, ponchos and Muddy Buddys to provide his “rainy day kits” to 175 people.
His younger brother Brody, 5, inspired to help this year, started “Brody’s Briefs,” providing undergarments and diapers for families in need.
This is the third year that Ryder has fundraised for the homeless in Maple Ridge. He started his project, Ryder’s Rainboots, three years ago after a wet drive through the downtown eastside with his parents.
Ryder was shocked to see men and women with bare feet in the pouring rain.
“I started Ryder’s Rainboots that very night”, said Ryder. “It wasn’t fair that we had everything we needed for the wet weather, but that others didn’t. I was only six, but I knew it wasn’t right.”
Over the three years, Ryder has raised more than $15,000 and earlier this year was named the Youth Citizen of the Year by the Maple Ridge Community Foundation.
He donated his $750 award to a backpack program to buy school supplies for children and youth living in poverty.
Ryder’s family matched the donation, providing a total of $1,500 worth of school gear to kids in need.
“We love Ryder’s Rainboots and the support that they offer people in our community”, said Darrell Pilgrim, executive director of the Salvation Army Ridge Meadow Ministries.
Ryder isn’t done handing out raingear this year.
On Monday, he will give items to children and youth who are living in poverty. This year, Ryder’s fundraiser focused on kids and families.
“I really want kids to play in puddles. If you don’t have rain boots, you can’t play with your friends at recess. Kids need to play,” Ryder said.
Several Canadian companies have joined forces with Ryder and provided significant discounts for gear, including Kamik for boots and Tuffo for Muddy Buddys.
• Ryder has already started planning for the 4th annual Ryder’s Rainboots campaign.
To learn more, visit his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/rydersrainboots.