Warwick-based charity urging residents to carry out a kind act in Evelyn’s memory

Evelyn Smith NNL-150107-122046001
Evelyn Smith NNL-150107-122046001

A Warwick-based charity set up in memory of a seven-year-old girl is calling on the public to join in their ‘Be Happy Day’.

Evelyn’s Gift was created in memory of seven-year-old Evelyn Smith, who died in 2013 after having a viral and bacterial infection of her upper respiratory tract.

The charity’s logo is taken from a quick sketch that Evelyn did for her mum Helen Smith, which had the words ‘be happy’.

In Evelyn’s memory, the charity holds ‘Be Happy Day’ on her birthday, which is today (December 1).

It would have been Evelyn’s 12th birthday.

Helen said: “Evelyn did a quick sketch when I was flustered and stressed by everyday life. She said “mum” and held it up, pointing to the words ‘be happy’ so in her memory, we have ‘Be Happy Day’ on her birthday.

“The idea is that people think about little acts of kindness to make the world a happier place.”

One of the charity’s aims is to provide little acts of kindness to people in need and ‘Be Happy Day’ ties into this. Helen and the other members of the charity are encouraging residents in Warwickshire to get involved by doing a small act of kindness today (Friday).

Helen said: “Coten End Primary School, where Evelyn went to school, and St Mary Immaculate Catholic Primary School, will be teaching children about doing kind things for others.

“Coten End School will also be asking children to collect small change and families can donate a roll-on deodorant or a toothbrush to help a local person visiting one of the shelters for homeless and vulnerable people in Leamington.

“We have already seen the generosity and kindness of people through a tinned food and toiletry collection at the Leamington FC v Spennymoor Town match on November 18.

“Our partner charity, Warwickshire Hearts, also put us in touch with Rugby Community First Responders, who are supporting the homeless in Rugby and we have put together packs of essential items they can give directly to rough sleepers around ‘Be Happy Day’.

“We also received bedding from the Happy Linen Company for ‘Be Happy Day’ for a women’s refuge and they have offered three bedding sets as a prize for the act of kindness that we like the best.

“Through Evelyn’s Gift, we have done many good and positive things in her memory. December 1 is also a painful and reflective time for me and my family and I will be lighting a candle to remember our beautiful Evelyn in St Mary’s Church in Warwick.”

Sarah Sheepy, headteacher at Coten End Primary School, said: “Evelyn has a very special place in the hearts of all at Coten End and we are delighted and immensely proud to support this year’s ‘Be Happy Day’ on what would have been Evelyn’s 12th birthday.

“The children, staff and parents continue to amaze me with their generosity and kindness, supporting a whole host of charities and good causes.”