Hailey Ford may look like an ordinary nine-year-old girl, but her magnanimity is rather uncommon and awe-inspiring. The little saint has made it her mission to help the homeless in her community by giving them a place to sleep.
While most other kids her age are content playing with toys, Hailey picks up power tools to build tiny shelters for people living on the streets. “It just doesn’t seem right that there are homeless people,” she told KING 5 News. “I think everyone should have a place to live.”
Hailey’s philanthropic spirit kicked in four years ago, when she and her mother bought a homeless man a sandwich, in her hometown of Bremerton, Washington. This simple gesture got her thinking, and she realised that she wanted to do more in terms of providing food for the homeless. So she came up with the idea of starting a garden, called ‘Hailey’s Harvest’, to grow and donate fresh produce.
“I said sure, thinking that it would last a week,” Hailey’s mother Miranda told non profit Together Rising. “It’s been four years and she still delivers veggies to the homeless every week.”
In 2014, Hailey managed to grow 128 pounds of produce and donated every bit of it to a local food bank. The project’s success inspired her to think beyond food; she wanted to give the homeless a roof to spend the night under. So she decided to build small mobile sleeping shelters equipped with basic facilities.
With her mother’s help, Hailey applied for a grant from Together Rising, and was awarded $3,000 to help her get started. When she approached local home improvement store Lowes for supplies, they offered her a 50 percent discount on all the materials she needed. “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,” Glennon Doyle Melton, founder of Together Rising, told Huffington Post.
The 8×4 wooden homes that Hailey is building will feature a front door, windows, solar panels and insulation made from recycled denim. Believe it or not, she does most the work herself, with a bit of guidance from her mother and her grandfather, who is a contractor. She is currently halfway through her first home, which she intends to give to Edward, the homeless man who inspired her project.
“I don’t really want him to be rained on by all the bad weather we get here,” Hailey said, full of concern. “If there was no insulation, he would get cold. If there was no tar paper he would get a draft.”
Once she’s done, Hailey said she wants to continue building as many sleeping shelters as she can, and deploy them in Bremerton’s Tent City. She also plans to distribute 250 pounds of produce, 1,000 toiletries, 500 feminine hygiene products, and 100 coats this year. You could donate to the sweet little child’s projects through her GoFundMe account, on her Facebook page.