RICHMOND — Like many 7-year-olds, Quincy Emmons has given considerable thought to what he wants for Christmas.

But unlike many other children his age, he’s thinking about other people at this time of year, and not what they want, but what they may need.

On Friday, Emmons, and his friend Brady Alexander, 11, will be staffing a table at their hometown Christmas tree lighting to collect nonperishable food for those who might not be able to afford groceries.

On Monday, he mentioned the idea of collecting canned goods to his parents, Elissa and Gary Emmons, and the idea took shape from there.

Just one day ahead of the tree-lighting, Quincy and Brady set up shop at the Emmonses’ kitchen table to make posters for the table. The effort was a cooperative one, with Quincy and Brady conferring about what the posters ought to say and how many exclamation points ought to follow the “thank you” on one of the posters.

Quincy is not sure what to expect, but he hopes that people will bring canned goods.

“My bus driver and my friend’s mom said they would drop off some stuff,” he said.

What got him thinking, he said, is that the weather is getting colder and there doesn’t seem to be as much food at this time of year.

What he’s hoping is that Santa Claus can pick up the food and deliver it to the people who might need it.

“He has a big heart,” said Elissa Emmons, his mother.

Quincy’s teachers at Marcia Buker Elementary School have told her that her son often is the first to help a friend or fellow student who needs a hand, she said, and she’s not surprised he thought this up after hearing her and her husband talk about stocking snacks for students at the elementary school as part of a parent teacher association project.

Brady, who goes to the same after-school care program as Quincy, said he thought Quincy’s idea sounded good and when Quincy asked for his help, he agreed to give it.

This week, Quincy’s school printed dozens and dozens of fliers and sent them home with students. At the same time, Elissa Emmons posted the flier on her Facebook page.

Quincy and Brady are hoping for a good result.

Richmond celebrates the holidays every year with a tree lighting at the waterfront to kick off the season.

This year, the event is scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Friday with horse-drawn wagon rides offered by Hideaway Farm. A special holiday story is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., and Santa Claus arrives at 6, when the tree will be lit.

Normally, Quincy said, he runs around at the event, and he doesn’t necessarily pay attention to when the tree is lit.

This year, he’ll be putting that aside to sit with Brady at the table at the waterfront.

If it’s cold, he said, his father has a heater they could use. And if the donations come in as he hopes, his father can help him carry the boxes to his truck.

Elissa Emmons said the goal is to get the food to the people who need it in the most efficient way; that might mean sending Christmas boxes home via the elementary school.

Although Quincy doesn’t know how his project will go this year, he’s already thinking ahead to next year, when he’d like to make his effort a statewide project.

And if he does it, he said, he’ll starting working on it much earlier in the holiday season.

“The first of December,” Brady said.

“Yeah,” Quincy said.

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632

[email protected]

Twitter: @JLowellKJ

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