Young Citizen: Barkingside schoolboy follows up Advent effort with Easter Egg initiative
- Credit: Rina Jain Naha
A schoolboy from Barkingside has continued his philanthropic streak with an Easter egg drive that sees him become this month's Young Citizen nominee.
Neo Jain Naha, nine, first came to the Recorder's attention last year when he collected 1144 Advent calendars which were given to less fortunate children.
The success of that effort has seen him go again with an Easter egg initiative, which has seen more than 1,300 donations in just three weeks.
Neo is being helped along the way by proud mum Rina, who described the response as "amazing": "After the Advent calendar we had January off, and then we were back on it. Neo planned it during half-term, and since then lots of people have been donating. Not just family and friends, but people from across the community - it's lovely to see people come together."
She explained that Neo - who turned nine in January - goes to buy the Easter eggs himself, before recording a video to show each donor what their contribution has paid for.
Although they have undertaken a similar initiative previously, the challenge with Easter Eggs is slightly different: "Advent calendars were smaller and easier to store than Easter Eggs! So my parents have also donated storage space in their house too. It's been good for them as they haven't been able to see Neo as much over the past year."
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The same six organisations - The Magpie Project, 3Food4u, Barnardo’s Wellbeing Hub, Haven House, the Acorn children’s ward at Whipps Cross Hospital and the paediatric community nurse team at Central Middlesex Hospital - are on board once again, while Neo also really wanted to work with The Dream Factory this time around.
The idea was that the Hainault charity would take a donated egg for its upcoming raffle; however, because it can't be guaranteed that a child will win, Neo decided to donate an egg using his own money.
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It's this generous spirt that inspires others, beamed Rina: "We have had parents coming to us, wanting to show their children what Neo is doing."
Neo himself said he wants to keep going for "as long as possible", setting a lofty target of 2,000 eggs.
With a March 26 deadline, there is plenty of time to achieve that.
To donate, visit treatsforkids.co.uk/