Jessica Merritt was only a few years old when her Aunt Patty died in 2003.
But the 12-year-old continues to keep her aunt's spirit alive through her own passion for giving back to those less fortunate.
This fall, Jessica raised more than $600 from the sale of her own handmade arts and crafts to adopt two Tri-Cities families through SHARE's Caring Neighbour program.
"It's important helping people have a happy Christmas," the Grade 7 Moody Middle School student told The NOW.
It was her aunt that inspired the youngster to work feverishly through the summer to get all of the crafts finished so they could be sold to raise funds.
At the time Patty became ill, she was living in Toronto and working full-time. She started having seizures in her 40s, and her health began to fail. She couldn't work and eventually blew through her savings.
But as Jessica's mom Beth Merritt explained, Patty was too proud and avoided using the food bank.
She would walk by, but couldn't go in.
"It took her a long time before she walked in," Beth said. "Being a proud person, you never think you're going to find yourself in that position, ever."
Patty would come to rely on the food bank before she died, but in the years since, the Merritt family has been an ardent supporter of SHARE.
A young Jessica would donate her pennies to The NOW's Pennies for Presents campaign and, in Grade 5 she challenged classmates and raised more than $200 for the SHARE food bank.
But this year, she took it to another level.
Jessica created hundreds of little crafts and knickknacks, from coasters to magnets, and sold them at a trio of events through the fall.
Her crafts proved a hit, raising enough money to help two families at Christmastime - one in Port Moody and one in Coquitlam.
Under the Caring Neighbour program, a donation of a minimum $50 per family member is required to purchase a hamper full of basic food items.
There is also the option to buy a toy. Jessica decided to buy several toys for the kids of the families to which she donated.
Recently, she saw the fruits of her labour come to a satisfying ending.
Jessica got the opportunity to play Santa - or at least an elf - for a day and deliver the hampers to the families.
No doubt the families appreciated the gesture, as Jessica noted the children's eyes lit up at the sight of the toys.
"It was so cute," she said. "It felt good."
It was a proud moment for both daughter and mom.
"It's something we can all do," Beth suggested.
After a successful effort this season, Jessica said she intends to continue to create her crafts and donate what she can to the food bank for many years to come.