The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, June 12, 2019 12:44 pm

Helping the homeless

Alaina Stellwagen | The Journal Gazette

It's not every day The Rescue Mission receives large donations from a 10-year-old, but giving is nothing new for Natalia Kleinrichert. 

Kleinrichert on Wednesday morning hauled in blankets, shampoo, toothpaste, and more than 150 boxes of Girl Scout cookies with the help of parents Eric and Amy Kleinrichert. 

"She's got a gigantic heart for the homeless. She's really a wonderful kid," said John Hapner, a family friend who "helps out sometimes" at The Rescue Mission. 

Natalia's heart for helping others became evident when she was just 3. 

After Hurricane Sandy and other storms devastated parts of the country in 2012, Natalia put her clothes and toys into plastic bags, her mom, Amy, said. "She said it was for the sandy people. I was confused, but she said their houses blew away." 

Since then, Natalia's heart for donating has only grown. 

Almost every year, Natalia asks for donations for her birthday, rather than presents. In the past, she's donated her birthday items to Charis House and the animal shelter. 

"And for Christmas, I asked for big boxes of stuff for the homeless," Natalia said. "I put the bags, hats, scarves, and gloves in a bag, and handed them out."

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