Ten-year-old Hailey helps people who are homeless, one harvest at a time.
Have you ever seen someone who is homeless and wondered about that person? Have you ever noticed someone sleeping near the street or standing in line at a shelter? I have. Some of those people are now my friends. One man I know is named Billy Ray. He served in a war. He’s super nice. I know another man who has a really sweet dog named Tonka.
The first time I ever got to know a person who was homeless was when my mom and I gave a man a sandwich. I was six years old. We were on our way somewhere when we passed him. He looked hungry. I asked my mom if we could buy him something to eat. She said OK.
Giving the man food made me feel good. The second time I helped a homeless person, I gave a man some soup on a really cold day. I like doing small things to help others and trying to make the world a better place.
Some people think homeless people don’t deserve attention. But I think they do. People who end up homeless sometimes may be people who have simply lost their jobs. Or they are veterans with nowhere to go. I believe everyone should be treated equally. Everyone deserves respect and care.
When my mom told me about how homeless people often don’t have access to fresh food, I felt bad. I wanted my friends to have more nutritious foods to eat. With help from my family, I planted a garden in my backyard. I share the fruits and vegetables with homeless people in my community. At first, my garden was small. But after we moved to a different house, I had a big grassy area that I could use to grow more.
My dad and granddad helped me pull up the grass to start my new garden. We made a game out of picking up all the rocks. My entire family, including my mom and my little brother and sister, helped to loosen the soil. After that, a bunch of worms moved into my garden, which meant the soil should be good for growing.
Each spring, I make sure the plants go in the right spots so that they get the right amount of sunshine. In one section, I grow strawberries and blueberries. In another part, I grow tomatoes and melons and beans. I also plant carrots, cucumbers, peas, spinach, and different kinds of lettuce. I have to water my garden a lot—sometimes twice a day.