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Ft. McMurray boy trading up to fly to Africa
Julia Parrish, CTV Edmonton
Published Friday, January 25, 2013 4:22PM MST
A young Fort McMurray boy, who has already been recognized for his humanitarian work helping to build water wells in Africa, is back out pounding the pavement in an effort to see the fruits of his labour.
Nathaniel Crossley is an 11-year-old who has already done more than many, in single-handedly raising money for charities.
“I like to just help them out with having the clean drinking water,” Nathaniel said.
In the past, Crossley spent countless hours speaking at schools, setting up booths at community events and selling t-shirts – finally he raised $9,000 to help build four water wells with ‘Africare’, an organization that helps people in Malawi and Tanzania.
“He comes up with this stuff on his own,” Blake Crossley, Nathaniel’s dad said. “It’s amazing to see.”
Before reaching his teenage years, he’s also been recognized– recently receiving the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work.
His latest endeavor is an effort to see the results of all of his hard work in person – by trading up items, in the hopes of visiting Africa in the summer.
Crossley was inspired by Kyle MacDonald, who started with one red paper clip, and eventually traded up for a house.
He started with a Lego man, which he swapped for an accordion, that was eventually swapped for some gems – the next swap came with some help from an Alberta musician.
Country singer Brett Kissel heard Crossley’s story on the radio, and was compelled to help.
Now, Crossley is hoping to swap a 2011-2012 signed Edmonton Oilers hockey stick for the next big thing.
“I just thought this would be perfect that if there’s other big hockey, or Oilers fans like myself, they’d probably be willing to trade something great,” Kissel said.
Crossley said any extra money he raises will go to a charity that could help his father, who suffers from a serious heart condition.
“I’m going to give it to the heart and stroke foundation because my dad has a heart condition,” Crossley said.
If he reaches his goal, Crossley not only hopes to see the wells he helped build, but to climb Mount Kilimanjaro with his dad.
“To be in the same country and to share that experience with him, it’s going to be amazing,” Blake Crossley said.
As for Nathaniel’s future, there’s no telling what goals this young man will aim for in the future.
“The sky is the limit I guess,” The proud dad said, smiling.
With files from Veronica Jubinville
Nathaniel Crossley, 11, hopes he can trade up this 2011-2012 Edmonton Oilers hockey stick to go towards a trip to Africa. Supplied.
Crossley earned the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal for his work in raising $9,000 that went to help build four water wells in Africa. Supplied.