Ryder Moore stood on a chair at the Salvation Army on Thursday handing out rubber boots he collected himself to those most in need this winter season.
The six-year-old Grade 1 student from Kanaka Creek elementary started his rubber boot campaign after driving through the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver on Sept. 17 with his mother, Sarah Moore. There were people on the street without shoes on and it was pouring rain.
He wanted to give them his own boots to keep their feet dry.
A couple of weeks later he started his Ryder’s Rainboots campaign with the help of his parents Sarah and Mike Moore. His goal was to raise $2,000 for 50 pairs of boots to donate through the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries.
He had a Facebook page that he updated every day, coming up with themes for each post.
“He might say, ‘I want to post something with a puddle and a bear’ and we’d look up pictures with puddles and bears,” explained his mother.
“And then he’ll say what he wants to say. Sometimes he would say, ‘Hi, it’s Ryder,’ and where we are at in the campaign,” she continued.
Instead, Ryder raised $2,548 and was able to purchase 14 pairs of women’s boots, 24 pairs of men’s boots, 30 pairs of children’s boots, 30 children’s Muddy Buddy rain suits, 38 men’s and women’s rain ponchos, 50 pairs of men’s socks, 30 pairs of women’s socks and 70 pairs of gloves.
“We did everything locally,” said Sarah.
“We tried to buy all Canadian boots where possible and access Canadian companies where possible. That was important to us,” she said.
He also collected a separate bin of second-hand items including coats, shoes and other donated items.
There was a lineup for the boots at the ministry on Thursday where people were able to choose a pair of boots, one poncho, a pair of gloves and socks.
Ryder even included 68 personalized cards for everyone. It took him hours to write out the cards and choose stickers for all of them.
“He really wanted people to know that he cared,” his mother said.
The Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries serves 9,000 meals every month and provides 25 emergency shelter beds and 15 beds in the Genesis Transitional Housing Program. The ministry helps people in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows. The Salvation Army also runs a community meal program, a Friday night street ministry, Sonia’s Cradle for babies and toddlers, a back-to-school backpack drive, a summer camp program, the school lunch bag program, Christmas hampers and a nurse-practitioner program.