https://www.thestar.com/life/together/snapshot/2022/10/09/when-a-six-year-old-put-the-giving-in-thanksgiving.html

Thanksgiving Day in Canada is often as much about “giving” as it is about “thanking.” While Canadians are understandably grateful for the bountiful harvest, for many, the second Monday of October is traditionally a day for charitable endeavours.

So it was for six-year-old Adelaide Hobson-Terene, when the Star photographed her in 1997 at an event held by the Daily Bread Food Bank, which was established 14 years earlier with the mission to end hunger in the city. “The elementary school I went to was very community conscious,” she says. “We always had charities going: food drives, clothing drives.” She adds that the Waterfront Public School also had a breakfast program “for students who didn’t have access to a hot meal.”

Hobson-Terene’s mother and father were very active in their community and encouraged her to give back, as well. “My parents taught me to be kind above everything else – always help someone if you can,” she says. “I volunteered a lot with them. I remember sorting skates and jackets in the winter for a clothing drive every year, bake sales, that kind of thing.”

And Hobson-Terene continued her altruistic efforts into adulthood. “I moved to B.C. for a few years and used to cut homeless people’s hair when I was in school,” she says. “They have a great program out there. I wish they had it here.”

The trimming came naturally as Hobson-Terene is now a renowned hair stylist and makeup artist in the TV and film industries (her credits include “The Handmaid’s Tale”). But true to her good heart, she never feeds the gossip mill. “I do work with celebrities, but if I shared their secrets, I wouldn’t be very good at my job,” she says. “I will say that I’ve been very fortunate to meet some of the nicest celebrities in my career. I haven’t had a bad experience yet – knock on wood.”

Looking back at that Thanksgiving 25 years ago, Hobson-Terene has a clear memory of participating in the food drive at the massive old Loblaws building at the base of Bathurst Street. “I wasn’t allowed sugary cereals at the time, (because) my mom and dad were pretty health conscious. So I was amazed at the rows of General Mills boxes,” she says. And once she understood the implication of the program, she was struck with empathy for the less fortunate. “I remember crying when I found out that kids like me didn’t get food. It was something that hadn’t crossed my mind.”

This year, Hobson-Terene will be spending Thanksgiving up north at a family farm with her partner and cousins, after being apart for so long due to the pandemic.

“There has been a lot of loss this year and last,” she says, “so family is really important.”