9:00am – Sister Mary Phillips – Class room talk
9:30am – ST. PAUL – Class room talk
10:00am – YMCA – Talk – activities
12:00pm - 2:30pm – SSWC (LUNCH) - booth - activities
2:30pm – MAC ISLAND - Talk
That's a pretty packed schedule. So, who is it? Some executive, a professional fundraiser, a celebrity perhaps? Nope, it's the schedule for Nathanial Crossley. This is Nathaniel. And he is ten years old:
Photo credit to Bono I Got Your Back
I've written about Nathaniel previously, and about his mission to raise funds to build wells in Africa. Since then he's received a fair bit of media coverage, and I am absolutely thrilled for him as I think this has been an amazing experience. And I think it says a great deal about our community - and about Nathaniel, too.
You see, Nathaniel is charming. He is sweet and a little shy and he is a future leader. Mark my words - this kid will become a leader of epic proportions, because he has everything it takes. He has belief, and he has ideas, and he has a work ethic, as shown by his schedule for tomorrow. Nathaniel has everything it takes to be a leader in this community - and in this world. In fact I think he's already there, leading the way as he takes on this challenge. But it won't be the last challenge he tackles, people. This is just the beginning. In my mind, though, it's one helluva start.
Now, I think we have a responsibility here too, Fort Mac. Nathaniel is leading but it is up to us to make sure we support him in his mission. Tomorrow you have a chance to do exactly that. You have a chance to contribute to Nathaniel's cause, and you have a chance to see a young leader in action. I will be meeting with Nathaniel and his dad during the day, because I cannot wait to talk to him about his adventure so far. I have been absolutely honoured to be part of this, and I wouldn't miss the chance to see his smiling face tomorrow - and I hope some of you might show up and see that charming little face, too.
If you can't be there in person, though, you can still donate. You can go here to African Well Fund, learn about what they do, and then donate. In the comments on your donation just indicate that this is for Nathaniel's well so they can keep track of how he is doing (and they are keeping track of this, people, because they are watching this future leader with keen eyes, too).
Me, though? I'm meeting Nathaniel and his dad for lunch (and it's my treat, although ssshhh, they don't know that yet!). I want to be there in person and hear Nathaniel tell me about his day and his project and his thoughts and his future plans and his dream of visiting Africa some day to see his well. I couldn't be more proud if Nathaniel was my own child - and yet in a way I suppose he is. If we subscribe to the adage that it takes a village to raise a child then Nathaniel belongs to all of us in a sense, Fort Mac - and I think we should all be very, very proud of him. If this is the future, well, then, the future is so bright I gotta wear shades.
Nathaniel Crossley, fundraiser, creative genius -
and community leader. You can follow
Nathaniel on Twitter @thelegofly
or find him on Facebook at