Like many people several times her age, 8-year-old Faith had a sinking feeling whenever she saw a homeless person panhandling around town.
But rather than hand someone a dollar or ignore him or her altogether, Faith and her mother Katie decided to figure out a sustainable way to help out. Inspired by a neighbor who took similar action, Faith and her mom began putting together personal kits with socks, ponchos and personal hygiene items last November.
They were connected with of Redmond-based Homeless Outreach so he could help them get the kits to the local homeless population. But when Faith and Katie saw the thin blankets Ingram was giving out, they came up with another idea.
Faith, who had already begun sewing as part of a 4-H project, decided to put her new skills to good use. With her mother's help, she began sewing two-layered fleece blankets with scrap material—much of which has been donated or purchased on sale.
"We thought about it in the car for awhile, and we decided to choose fleece because it's really warm," she said.
On Wednesday, Katie and Faith were at the to present one blanket to a Homless Outreach client and another to the for patrol officers to distribute in case of an emergency.
The blankets were put into stuff sacks that were donated by .
Blankets can be especially needed by people who are homeless because they get worn out quickly and are often stolen or destroyed by others who are camping nearby, Ingram said.
"Things get worn out a lot faster on the street," he said.
Ed Davis, who received a blanket from Faith on Wednesday, has been homeless since 2002 and spends most nights camping in a tent around Redmond. Originally from Port Angeles, he came to the Redmond area because of a temporary job and said he has stayed because of the support system he has found in the community.
Although what Faith is doing might be a small effort compared to the outreach of local agencies like Hopelink, Davis said individual projects such as hers still help.
"It's a big part," he said.
Faith and Katie have made three blankets so far but have aquired fabric to make 16. Faith even used some cash she received as Christmas presents to buy additional material.
Ingram said he has been inspired by Faith's enthusiasm toward her outreach work and makes a point to share her story with everyone who receives a blanket or care kit.
"I tell people about the 8-year-old girl that believed in them so much that she made these blankets," he said.
The fact that the person behind the effort is named Faith seems more than appropriate, Ingram said.
"She has faith that we can solve the issues," he said. "Faith is an action word."
Editor's note: Faith's parents asked that we not use her last name in order to protect her privacy.