12-Year-Old Hands Out Blankets To The Homeless

Boy Brings Joy To Homeless People Of Michigan A west Michigan boy has carried out his mission to help the homeless. At Martin Luther King Park in Kalamazoo, 12-year-old...

Boy Brings Joy To Homeless People Of Michigan

A west Michigan boy has carried out his mission to help the homeless. At Martin Luther King Park in Kalamazoo, 12-year-old Samuel VerHage helped hand out hundreds of blankets to those in need. He spearheaded the collection of those blankets throughout the year.

For Marion Blake, one blanket makes all the difference in the world. “When you’re homeless, you have no blanket, it’s cold and it’s going to get colder. It means a great deal to me,” Blake said.

In addition to the park distribution, VerHage and his mother, Denise VerHage, have helped to deliver blankets to more than a dozen shelters and other agencies around west Michigan this year alone. The group collected 2,585 blankets in 2018, surpassing the goal of 1,800.

VerHage, 12, started Samuel’s Blankets for the Homeless in 2015 and has grown every year since. “It’s helping the homeless and I’ve always had a heart for the homeless,” VerHage said.

“Samuel’s Blankets” started in 2015 when Samuel, then a 9-year old, saw some homeless people without blankets in Bronson Park. “When he started this 4 years ago, his goal was 200 blankets. Now we’re close to 2,600 blankets this year. It’s crazy,” said Denise VerHage.

Samuel VerHage’s hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed. “When I have people that come and want to shake his hand or give him a hug, that is wonderful, I get tears so many times when that happens,” said Denise VerHage.

Kalamazoo resident Jasmine Morton and her two nieces received blankets they desperately needed, Morton is thankful for the boy who made it all possible. “Being so young, he has a beautiful heart just to help people out here doesn’t have much. It’s really wonderful,” Morton said.

Samuel’s Blankets doesn’t start collecting blankets until September, but the group is looking for businesses or organizations to take in donation boxes.

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