ESSEX, Conn. (WTNH) — “My idea to start this was from my sister,” said 12-year-old Zander Bubie, who explained that giving back is a family affair.
He routinely brings supplies to the basement of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex, home to the Shoreline Soup Kitchen, open every Tuesday evening.
“She was selling things in the summer like fruits and vegetables and jams,” he said.
But when his sister, Cede, got busy with her studies in high school, Zander took over the operation, held in the greenhouse of his parents business, Riggios Garden Center.
He put his own spin on the approach.
“I do it in the winter because I wanted to be different, so, I sell beverages, baked goods and pot holders,” he said.
This sixth grader then takes the money raised and puts it to work.
“I go out to a variety of different stores with my parents and we buy stuff that people can’t get from the soup kitchen like Tide and laundry detergents,” he said.
“About a month ago, Zander brought in probably 50 bags of supplies he bought for our soup kitchen guests,” explained coordinator Mary Bowers, noting that everyone was moved. “Some people got weepy, the gratitude was empowering and we’re just so fortunate that Zander has done this for our soup kitchen here at St. John’s.”
It’s like a store – folks can pick one of each item they need.
Zander has enough money for a few more shopping trips and will be re-stocking these shelves for the next month.
A young guy, making a big difference, caring for others.
“It warms my heart that everyone is so excited and how they’re emotional about something they really need, it just makes me happy,” he said.
Zander – who has been doing this good deed since he was 5-years-old – said he’s going to keep doing this until he’s 15 because he just really likes to help others.