At just three years old, Lennox Wade set off on a course that would eventually lead her to win the NSW Women of the Year Award’s ‘One to Watch’.
The award recognises girls from the age of seven to 17 who demonstrate acts of ‘courage, strength, determination and kindness to help and support others’.
Lennox, from Caringbah, was presented with the prize for her efforts in developing a campaign known as ‘Snacktember’.
“Snacktember is when I collect snacks each September and give them to kids that don’t have any,” said Lennox, now nine.
The idea started when Lennox’s mother noticed all the snacks in their cupboard which never were eaten. Lennox, who had previously heard in preschool “about how there were kids in the world with no food”, knew something could be done to help.
“I originally just got this little box at my preschool and started collecting snacks and then we looked up places that would take them to the kids that don’t have any,” she said.
Five years later, and after joining forces with OzHarvest, Lennox has helped collect over half-a-ton of snacks for children in need across Australia.
“We have absolutely loved working with Lennox over the past few years!” said NSW OzHarvest State Manager Richard Watson.
These yearly donations… have helped us support countless kids and families doing it tough.
Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, Lennox contact the WA Bunnings team who responded by donating 230kg of snacks in addition to what she collected.
“We are so grateful for these yearly donations, which have helped us support countless kids and families doing it tough. I can’t wait to see what Lennox does next!” said Watson.
Lennox said she felt “very happy, very surprised and excited” to have won the One To Watch Award. “I think this is an important thing to do because then everyone in the world will be happy,” she told Central News.
Lennox’s parents helped their daughter get the project started but “she has ultimately been the one to work her connections and her networks” said mother Allira Wade.
“She has learnt that if she has an idea she can really follow through on it and turn it into something, which is really exciting,” she added.
Along the way, Lennox has also inspired other children across the country to get involved.
“We’ve heard about all these stories of kids hearing what Lennox has done and being so inspired they’ve actually set up their own Snacktember collections,” said Allira. “Lennox is empowering other kids to do things on their own and helping them understand that they don’t have to wait until they are an adult.”
For those who wish to get involved, Lennox said: “People could help out by starting to find any of the snacks they don’t want from their house that they could give away and put them in a box with some of their friends as well.”
With more and more people and snacks getting involved, Lennox has a vision for the campaign to continue spreading across Australia and one day across the globe.