GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — More than 12,000 people are homeless in the state of Michigan, according to the U.S. Department of Housing. But one girl in Grand Rapids is hoping to help those left out in the cold stay warm this holiday season.
She’s collecting socks.
“I feel really good, like a warm heart,” said Brooklyn Willis.
At just 12 years old, Brooklyn Willis already recognizes a major problem not just in West Michigan but across the state.
“I know there’s people who have less things than I do,” Brooklyn says. “I’m really grateful for the things I have, but I know there’s people out there who don’t have what I have.”
As Christmas approaches thousands of people are left out in the cold. That’s why Brooklyn says she’s collecting socks.
“I asked my mom if I can help with the food for the homeless, but she said I might not be old enough, so I told her I wanted to do socks.”
She has already collected nearly 300 pairs of socks, but she doesn’t want to stop there. She hopes to eventually collect 1,500 pairs.
“People don’t usually think, well, people need socks.” Brooklyn said. “They usually think people need food, but they still have something when it’s cold, so I thought socks.”
Even though this is one girl’s goal, her mother says it’s a community effort to make a difference. Something that makes her fill with pride.
“Sometimes at that age, at 12, it’s all about them,” said Jennifer Willis, Brooklyn’s mother. “But I know that everything that’s been taught to her because of this and because of her goal and wanting to do this, I know that everything I’ve taught her that it’s got into her, so I know that she’s listening to me.”
Brooklyn plans to donate the socks on Christmas Eve.
If you’d like to contribute you can drop socks off at Fresh Manna Christian Center, 2750 Birchcrest Drive Southeast, Grand Rapids, Mich.