If you are planning on showering your Valentine with affection on Feb. 14, you can do it in a way that also shares the love with your community, thanks to two Newmarket girls with big hearts.
Sisters Manha and Laiba Yusuf, 9 and 7, have been running their own philanthropic enterprise for two years to help the community in various ways.
Inspired by the memory of their deceased aunt, the two Stonehaven Elementary School students are now selling bouquets of fresh-cut roses for $40 and fruit boxes for $50 for Valentine's Day to support Newmarket's homeless shelter, Inn from the Cold.
"They have been supporting Inn From the Cold for the past year, providing them with large amounts of fruits and vegetables every month, to help provide balanced meals for the clients there," explained Nisa Chaudhry, their mother.
"They've done many fundraisers over the summer to support that work, and this Valentine's Day fundraiser will help support it for the next few months."
The Yusuf sisters get the produce for the shelter from the Ontario Food Terminal, where they have managed to become registered buyers.
The girls were inspired to help better their community after the untimely death of their aunt, who did a lot of community work during her life.
Chaudhry said she is very proud of her girls for wanting to give back to the community at such a young age.
"Every time we do one event, they ask me 'what's next?' They are really into it," she said.
The girls have sold candy to buy 50 backpacks and other supplies for disadvantaged students, and last September, they also raised money to buy toys and birthday presents for patients at Sick Kids Hospital.
The idea of selling roses for Valentine's Day came from Laiba, and there have been plenty of orders, but they are hoping for more.
The roses and fruit boxes will be delivered Feb. 13 and 14.
Anyone interested in getting a bouquet can do so by email at [email protected] and by calling or texting 647-535-9014.