AURORA, Colo. — In second grade, Brooklynn Walton had to come up with a project for her class. She'd noticed an increasing population of people experiencing homelessness, and decided to focus there.
"I go out collecting donations at hospitals and hotels," she said. "And then we put them in baggies, and then we deliver them to the homeless on Christmas Eve, and we call the Grace Bags."
Grace is her middle name.
The mission didn't stop with that second-grade project. Brooklyn has made those Christmas Eve deliveries the past two years. The bags are filled with snacks and toiletries. She also hands out blankets and gloves, and she makes homemade chocolate chip cookies for everyone.
COVID-19 has changed the way she gets donations, though. Instead of collecting them in person, she made a plea for help online.
"I wrote a letter and my mom posted it on Facebook, and in less than 24 hours we got $1,000," Brooklynn said.
The Facebook post inspired people in other cities to make their own Grace Bags.
Thanks to her letter, this will be the biggest year ever for Brooklyn's project.
"I love doing this project so much, I remember almost every face I give to," she said.
Brooklynn and her mom are still figuring out a safe way to distribute the Grace Bags in 2020. They're also taking more donations leading up to Christmas Eve.
"It makes me feel really happy that I'm actually doing something that's going to help people, not just for myself," Brooklynn said.
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