N.S. boy clothes the homeless to cope with father's tragic death
Ken Gordon was known for dropping everything to help anyone who needed it. The 54-year-old was killed at the side of a Nova Scotia highway while checking the cargo in the back of his truck in March.
Now, his 10-year old son is keeping his generous spirit alive by collecting bags of men’s clothing and donating them to the Halifax Salvation Army.
Matthew Gordon came up with the idea while watching his mother Lorna remove his father’s wardrobe from his closet shortly after the roadside tragedy.
“When we were going through Ken’s clothes he said, ‘Mom where are we going to give them?’” Lorna told CTV Atlantic on Tuesday.
Matthew was extremely close with his father, she said, recalling how the two would spend hours together working in the yard. She worries about how Matthew is coping, but says the clothing drive is helping him through the loss.
“He doesn’t come outside into the yard anymore. He doesn’t feel that there is anything for him out there,” Lorna said. “By doing this clothing drive and targeting just men . . . this is a big thing for Matthew because he knows that these men need help.”
On a rainy Nova Scotia afternoon, Matthew hauled dozens of large bags stuffed with clothing into a pickup parked in the driveway of his family home, and unloaded the bounty at the Halifax Salvation Army.
Addiction counsellor supervisor Paul Surette said he could not believe Matthew was just 10 years old when his mother approached him with the idea.
“It’s really appreciated,” Surette told Matthew as the delivery arrived. “Everything you have done here is really going to go a long way to support the homeless and people suffering from substance abuse.”
Turning to charity during difficult times runs in the family. Lorna’s daughter Lindsay was critically injured in a car accident two year ago. Four people between the ages of five and 17 were taken to hospital after the vehicle flipped and rolled over on Nova Scotia’s Pictou Island.
Lindsay, 15 at the time, suffered two collapsed lungs, a broken nose, hearing loss in her right ear, and 10 broken ribs. She also lost a kidney because of the crash.
Lindsay is said to have barely regained consciousness before starting to make plans to support Camp Brigadoon, a non-profit camp that caters to children, youth and families living with chronic conditions and special needs. She attended the camp at age 10 to help her deal with witnessing her father’s death.
Lorna believes Matthew’s efforts to continue the family tradition of giving back after losing so much will go a long way.
“It will help him with is grieving process,” she said. “He knows he is doing good through his dad.”
With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Jayson Baxter