"They don't have a home or have a lot of stuff. It makes me feel happy and feel good to help other people," the youngster said.
It's been almost an entire year since 6-year-old Bethany Moultry set out on a mission to help homeless people in her hometown. In this time, the determined youngster from Savannah, Georgia, has brought love and comfort to hundreds of people in need and she isn't slowing down any time soon. According to Bethany's mother, Colleen Moultry, the little one set out to help people without homes after a heartbreaking sight on the streets moved her to tears. Speaking to Good Morning America, Moultry revealed that the two were out running errands last December when Bethany spotted a man standing on the side of the road with a sign asking for help.
Confused as to why he was out on the street and asking strangers for help, the then-5-year-old turned to her mom. "It broke my heart because she was crying in the backseat," said Moultry. "She asked if she could break open her piggy bank and give him all her money." That was when she explained to her concerned daughter that maybe there was another way she could help him and give back. Together, Moultry and Bethany came up with the idea for Bethany's Happy Bags: quart-sized bags filled with essential items for the homeless people in their community.
"We could’ve just given a donation to an organization, but with her being a child, I wanted to give her a tangible way to help others where she could see and understand who and how she was helping," said Moultry. The proud mother revealed that Bethany is so devoted to the initiative that she simply requested more supplies for her "happy bags" when asked what she wanted for her sixth birthday. "I did not expect her to say that. I was expecting a new bike or a big dollhouse. It really surprised me," Moultry said. “At that point, I knew I needed to find a way to make that happen."
"They don’t have a home or have a lot of stuff," Bethany said. "It makes me feel happy and feel good to help other people." The family spread the word and soon supplies were being delivered to their home in bulk as people ticked off the items on Bethany's Amazon wish list. Local schools — including her brother's school, the Matthew Reardon Center for Autism — also reached out to join the efforts and help put the bags together. Moultry revealed that they have paired with various homeless organizations and the police department to help distribute the "happy bags" to those in need.
Over the past year, the quart-sized happy bags have grown to gallon size, each containing socks, two masks, Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, body wipes, a cup of fruit, protein, and a drink. To date, Bethany has distributed over 750 bags. "I'm so proud of her, I don't even know if I can put it into words," Moultry said. "I think sometimes it's easy to look the other way when you see a difficult situation. It took my 5-year-old to point it out to me. If she was aware enough to see this, I wanted to come up with another way to help." She added that while her daughter's ultimate goal is to build tiny homes for homeless people in her community, she is now focusing on reaching out to other communities and educating people on what people experiencing homelessness need and how they can help.
They're also exploring options to help provide job training and other services for homeless people, said Moultry. "Seeing the amount of people she's helped — I don't think I ever could've imaged that it would turn into what it’s turned into," she said. "I'm just proud. Proud mama over here."