10 years old, 1,750 pounds of food

NAWILIWILI — Kadee Parubrub is only 10 years old, but her contribution on Tuesday will make a lot of people happy during the holidays including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, said Leona Perez, programs manager for the Kauai Independent Food Bank.

Parubrub, a fifth-grade student at Elsie Wilcox Elementary School, surprised the KIFB staff when she showed up with 1,750 pounds of food she collected during her birthday celebration over the weekend.

“This is going to make a lot of people very happy,” Perez said. “This also comes at a time of the year when everyone is thinking about the holidays and how they’re going to feed the family.”

Sherri Parubrub, Kadee’s mother, said the 10-year-old held a food drive at her home in exchange for a birthday party. In lieu of gifts, Kadee asked everyone who was invited to bring at least 10 pounds of food to help her reach her goal of 1,000 pounds to be donated to the KIFB.

During her birthday celebration last year, Kadee performed a random act of kindness for each year she was alive. Sherri said Kadee changed it up this year, choosing to do 100 times her age to arrive at the 1,000-pound collection total on her birthday, which was celebrated Oct. 27.

“She had 50 people invited, and within the first hour of her drive, she was able to reach her goal,” Sherri said. “By the end of the night, we estimate she reached more than 1,500 pounds, and people were still driving up with food after we had put away the scale.”

Perez remembers the shy little girl from last year’s visit when she contributed 353 pounds of food. She was struck for words when Rizalde Tolentino, KIFB warehouse supervisor, informed her that the total weight, arriving in two pickup trucks, settled at 1,750 pounds.

“I got this idea from school,” Kadee said, bashfully. “They talk about acts of kindness, and as president of the Wilcox School Student Council, I tried to think of ways to be kind.”

Sherri said Kadee’s mission is to see people smile, help those in need, and change the world — one act of kindness at a time.

“This was definitely a group effort,” Sherri said. “Kadee is the happiest 10-year-old to know that her family and friends has gone above and beyond to spread her message that you are never too young to make a difference.”

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