Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

March 7, 2013

Student helps the homeless

By GINA KINSLOW
Glasgow Daily Times

TOMPKINSVILLE — Maddie Ford is a bit bashful and tends to shy away from talking to people, but her actions speak volumes.

Ford, a third-grader at Tompkinsville Elementary, has come to be known for providing the homeless with warm blankets.

Her efforts have not gone unnoticed. She recently learned she had received third place in the 2012 Gee Whiz Kids Award competition for children under the age of 12 through the Heart of America Foundation, a nonprofit humanitarian organization.

Ford did so by organizing a drive in 2011 to collect backpacks, blankets, sleeping bags and personal hygiene items for the homeless in Nashville called the Backpacks of Love Campaign.

During the campaign, Ford raised more than $6,000 and collected thousands of donated items. She has continued to reach out to the homeless this year.

On Monday, Ford talked a little about helping the homeless. She does it “to help other people,” Ford said. Doing it makes her feel good she said before quickly burrowing her face into the crook of her teacher’s arm.

Ford’s mother, Amanda Cleary Coleman, supports her daughter’s efforts whole-heartedly.

When asked what she wanted her daughter to take away from her experiences in helping the homeless, Coleman said, “Maddie teaches us. She believes there is nothing too big or too small that she can do. She’s got a big heart.”

Ford designed a T-shirt and sold them for $12 each to raise money to help fund the purchase of the backpacks, blankets, sleeping bags and personal hygiene items for the homeless.



Read the full report in Friday's print or e-edition of the Glasgow Daily Times.