It’s been over two years since the tragic death of Christopher Skinner. Since his death, many things have changed; his friends and family were forced to grow up faster than anyone could have imagined. And although the grief of losing someone so special, who sparkled more than the average person, in such a devastatingly horrific way is something that someone will never truly get over, the Skinner family has persevered. Instead of giving up on humanity, which could be easy to do in this situation, they have chosen to give back and also to pay it forward.
At the end of their family driveway, Ellen has created a little free library in memory of her son. The darling birdhouse-mailbox-looking book structure currently holds 20 books for neighbours to borrow, give, read and return for others to share. Wanting to give back to the community which was very supportive during the loss of her son, she created this as an opportunity to augment the reading experience for the children in her neighbourhood. She’s also going to refresh the book selection each week.
What Would Skinner Do? – Taryn Skinner
Taryn introduced the Pay It Forward Random Acts of Kindness Program to her students at Uxbridge Public School this February. The program is designed to encourage the students to commit Random Acts of Kindness, then the recipient is encouraged to pay it forward instead of paying back. Each student at Uxbridge, from kindergarten to grade 8 have been given a card with 5 spaces on it. When a student performs the RAOK they put their name on the card and the act, and then passes the card to the recipient. The goal is to have all the cards sent back to the school once each of the five spots have been filled in.
What’s that all about? The true beauty of what the human spirit is capable of. Really, the way they have chosen to honour Skinner’s life is quite spectacular if you ask me. This family has been through a horror movie and back. They have suffered, they have experienced pain unimaginable to the majority of Canadians. But did they let it get them down? Nope. They’re Skinners and they followed their innate motif: WHAT WOULD SKINNER DO?
So many people were affected by the tragic loss of Skinner. Since then so many lives have changed: marriages, job changes, babies and life decisions. What have you done to make this world a little sparkly-er?