SYDNEY: The judges have made their choice, and the Seaside Communications/Seaside Wireless winners of the $1,000 donation to charity go to Kaitlin Burke and Ashleigh Rose Hanna.

Burke chose the Cape Breton Cancer Patient Care Fund as the charity to receive the first $1,000 donation from Seaside.

In her own words, Burke described her decision.

“Hi my name is Kaitlin Burke. I am 12 years old and the winner of the Seaside Random Act of Kindness contest. I put a lot of thought into what charity I wanted to pick to give the $1,000 to. And it was not an easy decision picking just one. But the one that touched me the most was the Cape Breton Cancer Patient Care Fund. I decided to choose this charity to donate to because I think it’s nice they have a fund for this – it’s not to help find a cure but to help the patients during this hard time. It helps patients with their loss of wages, transportation costs, medications, meals and helps their loved ones be able to be with them at this time. I love that 100 per cent of the money goes to the patients.

“I also know a lot of people that have or had cancer and I am glad that there is a fund like this to help them during this hard time. Cancer sucks and there’s nothing good about it – so at least this fund helps make them a bit happier. I am glad to be able to give the $1,000 to this fund! Thank you for having this contest! I will definitely be keeping the acts of kindness going!”

The winning entry was submitted by Kaitlin’s mother, Shanna Burke.

“My daughter for the past few years around Christmas time buys three gift cards to places close to where we live she uses money she saved and her sister and I also contribute. She then goes to the places the gift cards are for – this year it was a local grocery store, gas station and restaurant and she looks around at who is there. She takes her time walking around or looking trying to find the person she’d like to give the gift card to then after some time she chooses. Then she goes to the person and tells them that she wanted to do something nice over the holidays and she bought a gift card for the place they’re at and that she wants them to have it.

“Most people are in complete shock and ask her to repeat. She almost always gets a hug from the person – they are always happy and watching her do this makes my heart smile. She gets such joy out of this! And I do too! It’s so nice to surprise people and do nice things. There’s been some tears shed over the past few years from her, me and the person she’s given the cards to. People are always so grateful! It’s a great feeling! Also we’ve heard from some of the places that after we leave the acts of kindness continue either from people she gave to or people who witnessed it.

“Two years ago at the restaurant she picked – people continued to pay for another table’s meal four times over! So the act of kindness kept going – Which was absolutely amazing to hear! I think teaching kids to be kind is so important – they are our future.”

Congratulations to Kaitlin and Ashleigh for their inspiring deeds of kindness, to their moms, Shanna and Dodie, respectively, for submitting their winning stories, and of course to the Cape Breton Cancer Patient Care Fund and the Cape Breton Youth Project for receiving their well-deserved $1,000 donations from Seaside. Their tireless efforts truly make the region a better place!