We’ve featured some incredible young activists on the site before, but this nine-year-old girl from Bremerton, Washington is positively impacting the lives of many in an incredibly unique and inspiring way.
When Hailey Fort was just 5 years old, she asked her mother if they could buy a homeless man a sandwich. Not a year had passed before Hailey began growing vegetables to donate to the local food bank.
And now, at age 9, Hailey, has invested her passion of helping others into a new project: building 12 mobile sleeping shelters for homeless people in her community.
Fort told King 5 News that “It just doesn’t seem right that there are homeless people. I think everyone should have a place to live.”
And for Hailey, there’s no better solution than to build mobile shelters for those currently living without.
The shelters are 8 x 4 ft structures that include windows, a locking front door, and eco-friendly insulation made out of recycled jeans. And except for adults helping her to use the large power saws, Hailey builds the structures completely by herself. She also relies on the excellent counsel of her grandfather who is a professional contractor.
Right now, the structure she is building will go to her friend Edward who has been homeless since he lost his job at a local supermarket. “He’s really nice,” Hailey says. “I don’t want him to be rained on by all the bad weather we get here.”
Thanks to the organizations Together Rising and Momastery, Hailey has received a total of $3,000 in grants to help fund her first group of mobile shelters. And with a 50% discount gifted by the local Lowe’s Hardwarde store, Fort has plans to build at least a dozen shelters.
But building mobile, tiny homes for the homeless isn’t the only philanthropical activity keeping the young activist busy; Hailey has also been keeping up her gardening efforts. Last year Hailey donated 128 pounds of food, and this year hopes to donate 250 pounds of produce from the summer’s harvest.
Fort’s actions speak volumes and are warming hearts everywhere. Not only do shelters provide basic security for those presently without, but her determination to step up and ‘be the change’ is no doubt inspiring others to consider how they may be of more service to the world.
And the more Hailey learns about homeless issues, the more she becomes aware of what other types of needs individuals might have living on the street. She intends to hand out 1,000 toiletry items, 500 menstrual products, and 100 coats this year.
But in the meantime, Hailey is fulfilled spending her time between her garden and her first shelter, as well as raising awareness about her fundraising efforts.
When asked what she wants to be when she grows up, her immediate answer is a philanthropist: “someone who takes care of people.”
If you’re inspired by Hailey’s work and want to get involved, please support her fundraising campaign to cover the cost of additional shelters by visiting here: http://bit.ly/1Q8raBf
You can also follow her updates on Facebook at Hailey’s Harvest.
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