An Unexpected Kindness /5
Local students show off their literary stuff in the 2018 McEntyre Writing Competition
Introduction by Wayne Larsen
Illustrated by Jennifer Cook
In what has become an annual tradition in Westmount schools, the McEntyre Writing Competition always attracts a wide variety of thoughtful and creative entries, and the 2018 edition was no exception.
Endowed by the late Peter McEntyre, mayor of Westmount from 1969 to 1971, the competition encourages young writers to express themselves on a designated topic, each designed to get the creative juices flowing. It is coordinated each year by the Westmount Public Library.
In 2018, “An Unexpected Kindness” was the topic assigned to students in grades 1 through 11.
Westmount Magazine presents the full texts of the first-place entries in each grade category, as supplied by the Westmount Public Library. As well, this year these will be accompanied by Westmounter Jennifer Cook’s charming illustrations.
Here we present Grade 6.
SIXTH GRADE | FIRST PRIZE | ROSLYN
Ten Dollar Bill
One day a girl named Bailey stumbled upon a documentary and saw people being kind to each other. Some people gave money to charity and some people gave food away to hospitals, so the sick patients could have a good meal. Bailey looked at more videos that the documentary had and found out it was National Kindness Day. She wanted to do something special. Bailey was a girl with long brown hair and bangs, who always put her hair in a bun. Bailey was a short girl compared to her age. She’s 26 years old. Being kind for her was nothing new, she is known for being very helpful and kind to others. Bailey loves her family very much. She has one older brother, one younger sister, a mom and dad. They live in NYC. Bailey is a student at Columbia University where she studies psychology.
When it was the end of the school day, Bailey was walking home and saw a homeless man begging for money. She went up to him and gave him a ten dollar bill. The homeless man smiled back. Bailey went home with a big smile on her face, because she just made someone’s day. She kept on wondering what she should do for National Kindness Day. Then had an amazing idea. Even if National Kindness Day was only for one day she wanted to give a ten dollar bill to the homeless man every day. Since it was on her way home. Bailey had a dream to be the first person that makes a homeless man successful in life. She didn’t want him wasting his life holding a sign that has a message asking for money. She wanted him to do the one thing that he always dreamed of doing, but could never do.
Bailey wakes up at seven o’clock and goes to the kitchen to eat her breakfast. She leaves the house at 7:30 am and takes the bus to school. In the morning Bailey never sees the homeless man, he is only at his spot in the afternoon. But when it’s raining the homeless man is in the metro station. He usually sits on Broadway Street. There is more than one hundred people that pass him. The homeless man sleeps on a garbage bag filled with trash as a mattress. And a box with a garbage bag over it so it makes a good pillow. The homeless man also has a blue blanket with tiny holes in it. He goes around with a red plastic cup and a sign that has a message on it. He has a long black beard and curly hair and has yellow teeth. One day after school Bailey was walking home and was about to give the homeless man a ten dollar bill as always.
But the homeless man stopped Bailey and asked, “Hey, why are you doing this for me?”
“Because it makes me feel good and I hope it helps you out some way. So what are you
going to do with all this money I’m giving you?” asked Bailey.
“Oh, I’m saving it so one day, I’ll be working,” replied the homeless man.
“What kind of job do you want?” asked Bailey.
“I don’t know yet, I just want to make a living.”
“Wow, that’s a great plan, I hope you achieve it, you have my support,”
and walks home.
Bailey kept on giving the homeless man a ten dollar bill every day for the next couple of months. The school year has finished summer was around the corner. Bailey went to Miami for three weeks, then went to L.A. for a month and came back to NYC. Before school started Bailey wanted to pay the homeless man a visit. She took the bus all the way to Broadway Street but couldn’t find him. She even went to the metro station but he wasn’t there. Bailey went everywhere, she was searching and searching but still couldn’t find him.
A couple weeks later, school has started but no sign of the homeless man. One afternoon she was walking home and she still passed the spot where the homeless man used to be. She was wondering where he might be and if he is OK or just about what happened to him. Bailey eventually makes it home. She finishes all her homework. She turns on the TV and surprisingly sees the homeless man on Times Square dressed up in a Spiderman costume. Each mascot was interviewed and the homeless man was making a good living. When it was his turn he had to say something special to a special girl.
“Thank you, Bailey, for helping me to become the person I am today! I may be a superhero but you are a real hero.”
Jennifer Cook, with over 28 years in graphic design, brings her expertise to each creative solution she produces for businesses world-wide. Paired with her love of research, she learns the soul of each client’s story to build a successful visual portfolio, which can include a combination of strategic graphic design, brand development, illustration, and social media. For fun, she started a daily illustrated social media series What my Coffee says to me to inspire and promote good mental health. To find out more on how she can meet your visual marketing needs, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.