Coleton Benham has a bedtime routine of brushing his teeth, reading a book, and getting into his pajamas. He wants other children to have the same opportunity.
Just one of the many charity donation programs he has begun, Brush Book Bed collects books for youth, toothbrushes and pajamas for kids whose families can’t afford them. The program runs through Woolwich Community Services and food bank. He came up with the idea when looking at the other work that WCS does.
“They were doing the backpack program and then, we were like, maybe we could do a special (collection) at the same time,” he said, adding that the Brush Book Bed donations are just an expansion of work he was already doing. “I thought, I am already giving out books, and I was just thinking about what else I could do.”
The program was launched at WCS along with its backpack program and with all of the donations, Coleton helped nearly 200 kids this year alone.
“This is his second year of Brush Book Bed and I think it was more successful this year,” said his mom Jenny. “He comes up with these ideas and you can’t say no.”
Along with Brush Book Bed, Coleton runs Books2Boys, a program that provides picture books about hockey to young hockey players at the pre novice level. He also works collecting food for an annual autumn food bank and wants to help kids learn more about money with a financial literacy program.
With Brush Book Bed, however, his goal is specific. He told his mother that he hoped to get a pair of pajamas, a toothbrush and a book for every kid in Ontario one day and he is well on his way.
“We are fortunate to have those things, and those kids should be fortunate to have those things too,” he said.
Coleton is always on the lookout for more items to donate and is hoping community members can give some used children’s books, new toothbrushes and toothpaste and kids pajamas to the cause. To find out how to donate to Brush Book Bed, he can be reached through his Books2Boys Facebook page, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.