By Mike Renzella
To The Haldimand Press
YORK—Local youth Andrew Poirier, 14, has a lot to be proud of in 2019. He is the recipient of a handful of very prestigious honours, which stem back to his work with veterans.
Poirier was named the Youth Citizen of the Year for Haldimand County most recently. He credits building birdhouses as a way of fundraising for therapy dog programs to benefit veterans with PTSD as the reason why he achieved this accomplishment.
“I felt really thankful,” said Poirier. “Money fundraised goes directly to Wounded Warriors Canada for the training of these dogs, old lumber is kept out from landfills and repurposed into bird homes, and birds in our community are given a safe and dry home.”
Poirier previously won the Ontario Junior Citizen Award presented by the Ontario Community Newspapers Association, as well as the St. Joseph’s Spirit of Hope Youth award, all in 2019.
Poirier’s fundraising efforts began six years ago with the help of his brother Jake. After watching a program about Wounded Warriors Canada, Poirier learned that they were not receiving government funding for their therapy dog program. The two brothers decided to take matters into their own hands.
“We came up with the idea to make birdhouses with licence plate roofs when we saw wood that was in a garbage pile. We have learned how to cut wood and paint them. We use donated licence plates and are always looking for more donations of them. Every licence plate makes a birdhouse that sells for $25 and the whole $25 is sent to Wounded Warriors Canada.”