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Giving back: Nine-year-old builds homeless shelters and other selfless acts

The girl, from Washington state, is one of a number of children and preadolescents who are helping those less fortunate.

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    A young Washington state girl is spending her spare time creating individual shelters for the homeless.
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A nine-year old girl from Bremerton, Wash. is making a difference in her local community. 

In a report with KING 5 News, Hailey Ford is shown using a power tool to drive nails into the roof what looks like a miniature house. The structure is the first of 11 planned shelters she plans on building for the homeless in her area.

Focused and knowledgeable, she tells the reporter that her friend Edward is homeless and needs a dry place to sleep at night. When she realized that she could do something about it, she began piecing together a plan to build "mobile sleeping" shelters, as she calls them.

The shelters come complete with insulation, tar paper, and windows, barriers that will keep out the elements and lock in the warmth.

This isn't the first time Hailey has gone above and beyond to meet community needs.

She began her own garden, appropriately named Hailey's Harvest, a few years ago after giving a homeless man on the street a sandwich. Much like her friend Edward inspired her sleeping shelters, the man on the street motivated her to seek out better solutions for feeding those in need. She now harvests the garden for her local food bank. 

Hailey isn't the only kid acting with compassion.  

Five-year old Josiah Duncan had a similar reaction when he saw a hungry-looking homeless man outside of a Waffle House in Prattville, Ala., last month. 

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As reported by WFSA, the little boy began asking his mother about the man's appearance, clearly troubled. She explained that the man was homeless and Josiah requested that they buy him a meal. His mother obliged. 

Before the man could eat, Josiah insisted on saying a blessing.

"The man cried. I cried. Everybody cried," his mother told WFSA.

Other children have taken Hailey and Josiah's kindness a few steps further. 

Hannah Taylor, a Canadian from Winnipeg, Manitoba, founded the Ladybug Foundation when she was only eight years old. 

In her mission statement Hannah says, "I believe that if people know about homelessness – that there are people living without a home – they will want to help.” 

Now 18, Hannah speaks at schools across Canada and the world, and has raised over three million dollars to assist programs providing shelter, food, and safety for homeless people. 

She also founded another charity, The Ladybug Foundation Education Program Inc., which empowers young people to make change in their communities and the world. 

Hailey evokes this spirit. 

Momastery, an online blog-turned-charity for women, interviewed Hailey's mother and asked her what they could do to help Hailey out. Could they buy her something? Maybe spoil her a little? 

She replied with, "No, nothing for her. It’s hard to buy her anything. She just gives whatever we buy her away. The best way to get Hailey rising is to help her get others rising."

As Hailey told KING 5 News, "I think everyone should have a place to live."

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