9-year-old raises $2,500 for Christmas presents for foster children

Posted at 7:42 PM, Dec 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-30 17:28:50-05

WEST MICHIGAN- Life in the foster system can be hard, especially during the holidays.

But this year, a 9-year-old girl went out of her way to make sure one group home had the best Christmas.

At just 4 feet 5 inches tall, Maggie Hartman may be mistaken for one of Santa’s little helpers.

“I just want to help as many people as I can,” Maggie said.

After seeing FOX 17’s Forever Home series she decided she wanted to help spread Christmas cheer to foster children this year.

The pint sized philanthropist raised $2,500, all from a pushcart.

“I sold flowers for a dollar outside of my house in a little stand,” Maggie said.

Maggie’s Flowers took on a life of their own changing the lives of 18 teenage boys without families this Christmas.

“These boys have been through a lot, there’s a lot of things they’ve been through they have to deal with on a daily basis, they don’t have people they come home to and people who look out for them,” therapist Greg Hooson said.

FOX 17 requested the boys’ wish lists for Maggie a few weeks ago.

“Well we got the lists online and then we went shopping for everything that they wanted and we wrapped them and we got them stockings,” Maggie said.

She’s ensuring each boy got exactly what they wanted.

“She bought us presents, she made me feel blessed this year,” Brian said.

“She did a great thing and she took it upon herself to raise money for kids like us,” Jorden said.

“It makes me feel pretty happy and want to thank her a lot,” Chris said.

It’s something Maggie couldn’t have done without the help of her mom Jil, who made sure the boys had lots of Christmas goodies to snack on as well.

“I adore her heart, I’m proud of her and I’m excited we get to go on this journey with her and just kind of honor her heart of giving and the blessings come back to us tenfold,” Jil Hartman said.

Maggie has already requested each of the boys’ birthdays and has plans to send them a card, making sure they know someone is caring about them all year long.

“It felt like I have older brothers,” Maggie said. “They were really happy.”

She’s bringing the true meaning of Christmas to 18 boys during a time when they need it most.

“I think it gives them hope, when they see people thinking about them they know that they have value and they have purpose,” Hooson said.

Thanks to the generosity from viewers all over the country, RiverTown Crossings Mall, Meijer Gardens and many others, FOX 17 was able to collect more than $7,000 in gift cards and toys for children in the Michigan Foster System this Christmas.

If you’re interested in adopting any youth from the Michigan Foster System, call Orchards Children’s Services at 855-694-7301.