Kid Idols! Hailey's Homes Fights Homelessness

When I was 10, I put up a pre-fab Barbie’s Dream House in my bedroom and called it a day. I certainly had nothing on 10-year-old Hailey Ford of Bremerton, Washington, who is building actual houses for real people.

Yes, you read that right – a very inspiring and industrious young lady is building small shelters for a big cause: Fighting homelessness. “It just doesn’t seem right that there are homeless people,” Hailey said in an interview with KING 5 news. “I think everyone should have a place to live.”

Hailey was inspired to build the shelters a couple of years ago, after meeting a homeless man named Edward. She and her mother, Miranda Ford, bought the man a sandwich. That was nice, but Hailey didn’t stop there. She understood that Edward was just one of many hungry, homeless folk, so she grew a garden, dubbed it Hailey’s Harvest, and donated 128 pounds of produce. This is an annual endeavor. “It’s been four years and she still delivers veggies to the homeless every week,” her mom said.

From the garden of fruits and vegetables, an idea grew: Shelters for the homeless, to protect them from the elements (Washington State is notoriously rainy, and chilly). Hailey knew she would need help to get started — so, to help fund her undertaking, Miranda applied for a grant for Hailey from Together Rising, a charity group that offers support and assistance to people who have nowhere else to turn.

“We can’t think of a better example than our Hailey — she’s proof that no person, or act of kindness — is too small to change the world,” Together Rising founder Glennon Doyle Melton said. Hailey was awarded $3,000 from Together Rising, and what’s more, she got a 50-percent discount from her local Lowes store to help with materials for the structures.

Hailey accomplished her construction goals, and went on to others – this past Christmas, the preteen and her family loaded up their van and handed out warm coats to the homeless. Hailey wrote on her Hailey’s Harvest Facebook, “We are busy wrapping coats to be handed out Christmas morning. This year I have 73 coats to hand out and each one has the pockets filled with things like first aid kits and hand warmers.”

Although Hailey plans on continuing her philanthropy, you won’t see her on the news as much these days. She has some unspecified health issues, and is taking a step back from the spotlight.

“The incredible love and support from everyone became a bit overwhelming for her and so she asked to step back from the public eye for a bit. She has continued to help her friends and local homeless organizations and is excited to once again be making sure each child in our community has a warm coat this winter,” her mom Miranda says.

Regardless of whether Hailey shouts from the rooftops or quietly goes about her business, you can be certain the world is a better place because she’s in it. Hailey’s kind and giving nature is an inspiration to kids – and adults! – everywhere.

Who are some of your favorite real-life kid heroes? Share with us!

Cover image via The Independent

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