MAYFIELD – Kendyl Conyne of Mayfield may have celebrated one of the best birthdays in her young life last month without unwrapping a single gift.
The now 9-year-old wanted to do something more for her birthday. Instead of gifts or money, she asked people for donations to a local food pantry.
“COVID was going around and I just didn't want to get birthday presents because I thought about everyone else in the world that's struggling with COVID, so I decided for people to have food; if they run out, they can [get] food at the food pantry,” Kendyl Conyne said. “My mom posted something on Facebook and said come drive by and if you would like you could bring food, you don't have to bring food, but they did give food.”
It was all part of a Facebook post her mother, Stacia Conyne, made on her own page – Kendyl’s 9th Birthday Quarantine Style.
The event produced more than 20 bags of food that Kendyl and her mom delivered to the food pantry.
“Some of my friends helped me with a lot of stuff and they were there to help me with the food drive,” she said. “I got to see them for a little bit, they were in the drive-by [parade].”
For her efforts, Kendyl was presented with the COVID-19 Acts of Kindness Award from New York state Senator Jim Tedisco (R-Glenville) Monday afternoon at her mother’s business, Sacandaga Flowers, on Route 30 in Mayfield.
“Kendyl really represents everything good about what took place, the positive about this virus, people coming together from the very oldest, to the middle aged to the very youngest,” Tedisco said. “Kendyl, who at that young age, has learned a lesson that we're about helping each other and we're stronger when we work together towards a goal.”
The unselfish request did not surprise her mother.
“In kindergarten she started Stuff the Sleigh at Mayfield Elementary School,” Stacia Conyne said. “She's collected a little over 1,000 toys from the Mayfield Community alone for the Salvation Army.
“This didn't surprise me, for her own birthday that she wanted to donate her birthday to such a good cause.”
At just 9-years-old, Kendyl was aware of the need in her own town.
“I think it comes from her seeing kids in her own community suffer with no food and she wanted to do something to fill their bellies,” Stacia Conyne said. “She said when she does stuff that makes other people smile it makes her heart feel like butterflies.”
Reach Stan Hudy at [email protected] or @StanHudy on Twitter.