8-year-old lends a helping hand

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Hailey Winebrenner, 8, collected a variety of items, from blankets to books, to give to patrons of St. Paul AME Church’s Welcome Table. She plans to do so again in November.

(Posted Oct. 14, 2020)

Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

Hailey Winebrenner got to thinking about the cold weather around the corner and people who “sometimes don’t have everything.” Then, she got to work fixing it.

Last month, the 8-year-old London resident and St. Patrick School third-grader sent flyers to family and friends, explaining her quest to help others and asking for donations.

She ended up with a room full of stuff, from blankets, pillows and clothes to toys, books and snacks. She also received money, which she used to purchase more items. She took those items to St. Paul AME Church, 11 W. Center St., London, where every Thursday night, the church serves hot meals to anyone in the community who wants them.

Hailey showed up with her collection of donations on Oct. 1 and gave at least one item to each of 65 patrons at the church’s Welcome Table. Blankets, pillows, sweatshirts and socks were the first things to go. The donations were well received.

Hailey’s mother, Ashley, said that one man who had seemed grumpy earlier in the night yelled across the parking lot to Hailey at the end of the night, “Thank you very much. You really made me happy today.”

That, in turn, made Hailey feel good.

“I felt happy because I was making a difference and making people smile,” she said.

Hailey plans to return to St. Paul AME Church and the Welcome Table on Nov. 5 to once again distribute donated items. This time around, she is specifically looking to give away more blankets, pillows, socks and sweatshirts, along with hats, gloves, coats, toilet paper and baby wipes–items that seem to be the most popular and needed.

Anyone who would like to donate items or money to Hailey’s Helping Hands can Call Ashley Winebrenner, (740) 837-0867. Items can be dropped off at 63 N. Main St., London. The deadline to donate is Nov. 1 to allow Hailey time to sort the contributions.

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