Maryland Boy Tyler Stallings Raises over $50,000 to Help Homeless Veterans and Makes Care Packages for Them
An 8-year-old boy showed that just about anyone could lend a helping hand to the needy after he raised $50,000 for veterans who had no shelter.
The story of 8-year-old Tyler Stallings is one that inspires the spirit of goodwill and selflessness in everyone. Since the age of four, Tyler has been on a mission of making a difference in the lives of homeless veterans, a cause which has seen him raise over $50,000 for them.
Tyler's proud mother, Andrea Blackstone, explained that it all started with her trying to teach her son the importance of veterans.
To do this, she went on to YouTube, and while watching videos of Veterans, the then 4-year-old Tyler noticed some homeless and helpless veterans.
Perturbed by this, the innocent and helpful child asked his mom why their heroes would be helpless, and on the street.
He then beckoned on her that they should build homes for the veterans, but was made to realize by his mother, that they couldn’t afford to. This, however, made Andrea wonder what her son could do to help the veterans.
She was able to get her son a $100 grant, and with the grant, and a GoFundMe link she shared on Facebook, the young chap decided to gather clothing items and hygiene products to give to the homeless veterans every Veterans Day.
This continued for some time, with tremendous success, until they felt doing it only on Veterans Day wouldn’t be enough. This one-time event soon turned into more.
The young kid began working with the Maryland Center for Veteran Education and Training (MCVET) to raise awareness on the sacrifices veterans make, as well as providing homeless veterans with "hero bags."
He also partnered with a mattress company to donate 250 mattresses to the Maryland Center, as well as a backpack company that gave him backpacks for his hero bags.
The last four years have seen Tyler raise over $50,000 for homeless veterans, and they are thankful to have him. Tyler's mom is also grateful for what her son is gaining from his actions. She said:
"[The veterans] appreciated it so much. There are a lot of smiles and thank yous involved. Tyler learns a lot about humanity and how to bond with people and be kind. I'm so proud of him being vocal and standing up for what he believes in."
One of the Veterans helped by the good deeds of the eight-year-old echoed that feeling during one of Tyler's visits to MCVET. After receiving a new pack of socks, he gave Tyler a high-five and smiled, saying:
"You're the man."
Tyler believes it has been an important and rewarding experience to work with the veterans. He said:
"They should have the things they need because of all the good things they've done for our country. It makes me feel very happy and good when they have a happy reaction."
He is not stopping there, though. Tyler is hoping to raise enough money for a truck soon enough so that he and his mom can use it to distribute more essential items to homeless veterans.
His story shows that anyone can be a hero. Tyler is making a difference by choosing to help homeless veterans, who make up part of the estimated 553,000 homeless Americans today.