When Kitsap County, Washington resident Hailey Fort was five, she saw a homeless man on the street. Moved by the compassion possessed by most children of that age, she asked her mother if she could help him. Her mother told her that she could, and Hailey began her work, which continues now, some four years later.
Hailey builds mobile shelters for the homeless: small buildings on wheels just large enough for one person to sleep in. According to ABC News, she plans on building 12 of the shelters this year.
Miranda Fort, Hailey’s mother, tells ABC News that Hailey has already picked out the person who will receive her first shelter:
She went through all of her homeless friends and made the decision based on a number of things. This shelter doesn’t have a place for a wheelchair, so it wasn’t a good fit for Billy Ray. Similarly, it wasn’t a good fit for her friend Tonka, a dog, and his owner. Edward stuck out because he has always been so gracious when receiving food.
Each shelter costs about $300 to build. The local community supports Hailey’s efforts by donating many of the materials she uses. The walls are made of pallets, and are insulated by recycled denim. The roof has shingles. There is a solar powered lamp, and a door with a lock.
In addition to the shelters, Hailey also grows food for her homeless friends. She hopes to grow 250 pounds of fruits and vegetables this year.
Hailey started a Facebook page so she can share information about what she is doing. The page, called Hailey’s Harvest, has been “liked” by over 6,200 people. It features posts about her various projects, along with pictures of the shelters, the vegetable garden, and some of her homeless friends.
In addition to the food and shelters, Hailey wants to buy personal hygiene items, and coats for her friends. She has started a GoFundMe page, with a goal of raising $10,000 to purchase those items. As of this writing, she has surpassed that goal, with a total of $10,800 raised. You can contribute to Hailey’s efforts by clicking here.
What Hailey is doing would be generous coming from anyone. But the fact that it is being done by a 9-year-old is nothing short of amazing. While Washington politicians are telling the poor that they have to do with even less than they have now, and while the national media is focused on the questionable Christianity of people like the Duggars, Hailey Fort is quietly doing what Jesus instructed his followers to do in the gospel of Matthew — take care of those who need help.
Here’s a report, from KOMO/ABC News:
Featured image via Facebook