A two-year-old boy who lost his mother in a tragic car collision in October has been surrounded by love and gifts this holiday season thanks to a caring Chilliwack community.
Trisha Mercer and Amie Maria started a public Facebook event, called Love for Elijah, in hopes of bringing gifts to the young boy at Christmas.
Elijah’s mother, Rachel Plowman, died after the car she was in with two other people went off Ballam Road and plunged into the Fraser River on Oct. 10. Plowman, 18, and friend Ruby Kingma, 17, both died at the scene.
Elijah now lives with family members in Chilliwack.
Two months following the crash, Mercer and Maria put the call out to the people of Chilliwack on Facebook to help make Elijah’s first Christmas without his mother a bit more merry.
“This little guy is in need of some love and we as a community again can bring the love and Christmas spirit,” read the Facebook post.
In typical Chilliwack fashion, people generously donated.
In came toys, clothing, a snowsuit, blankets, sippy cups, a new stroller and a gently-used crib.
And the gifts didn’t just come from folks in Chilliwack. Union Gospel Mission in Vancouver donated toys and more than $100 in gift cards. And a package from Newfoundland came for Elijah as well.
“This has been so helpful,” said Elijah’s aunt, Carmie Chittick. “It has truly helped this little man get things he needed.”
A few of the items were given to Elijah before Christmas. He was seen in a video a few days before Christmas tromping around in the snow in his new snowsuit.
“I’m excited to see him get to open all of the gifts. I know he is going to love every last one of them,” Chittick added. “I am so very thankful for this community and all the love and support they have given this young boy.”
Elijah’s family members aren’t the only ones grateful. The organizers of Love for Elijah are equally impressed with the graciousness of Chilliwack.
“Amie and I just want to send all the love back to the community… all I did was put the need out there,” Mercer said. “The real heroes are the community members. They are basically the legs that hold the table. Over and over the community angels descended.”