London girl expands her outreach of warmth

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Debbie Warner (back), director of Lifepointe Family Center in London, welcomed Hailey Winebrenner (front) to the center on Dec. 15. Hailey and her mom, Ashley Winebrenner, dropped off blankets, coats, clothing, baby toys, baby supplies, and more to help families in need. The donations are one way Hailey, 9, is helping others through Hailey’s Helping Hands.

(Posted Dec. 16, 2020)

By Theresa Hennis, Staff Writer

Hailey Winebrenner, a 9-year-old London resident and St. Patrick School student, started Hailey’s Helping Hands a year ago, and her dream to help others is growing strong.

Hailey said she felt a tug on her heart when she realized that many people weren’t warm in the winter. When a family friend told her about the community outreach meal hosted by London’s St. Paul AME Church on Thursdays, she collected blankets, coats, socks, raincoats, toiletry items, and more.

Hailey and her parents, Ashley and Tim Winebrenner, have been delivering the donated items to people who come to the church for meals. Hailey’s idea for more outreach opportunities has grown from there.

“I think it’s such a remarkable thing that her idea has grown,” said Ashley. “Even though kids are young and might not think they have a voice, they do. They can change the world. One of Hailey’s friends makes blankets for her to give away, and they’re the first things taken off the table.”

Inspired by Hailey’s hard work, people have been motivated to donate blankets, coats, clothing, toiletries, and money for Hailey to spend on necessities for her outreach.

Giving, for Hailey and her family, involves more than just handing out necessities to those in need—it means developing relationships with them.

“The guys who come to the church are warming up to us,” Ashley said. “They feel comfortable enough with us to tell us what they need. The way they react and smile about Hailey helping them—you know they are so appreciative. You can hear it in their voices.”

Hailey wanted to expand her outreach, and when she was referred to Lifepointe Family Center in London, she donated women’s clothes and baby items in November and more items for babies and their siblings in December.

Hailey’s goals are as expansive as her heart for giving. Her latest outreach endeavor is helping Philippians 2, a group based in London that serves homeless camps in Columbus. Hailey and her dad go with the group to pass out coats and bags with socks, food, blankets, and gloves to homeless people every Thursday night.

“It’s heartwarming to see such a young girl making such an impact in our community,” Ashley said. “For her to connect the dots makes me so proud.”

For Hailey, letting people know they matter is as simple and yet as profound as fulfilling their basic human needs.

“It makes me feel happy because I’m helping people to stay warm,” she said.

Debbie Warner (back), director of Lifepointe Family Center in London, welcomed Hailey Winebrenner (front) to the center on Dec. 15. Hailey and her mom, Ashley Winebrenner, dropped off blankets, coats, clothing, baby toys, baby supplies, and more to help families in need. The donations are one way Hailey, 9, is helping others through Hailey’s Helping Hands.

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