11-year-old collecting donations for people in need

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – An 11-year-old girl is working to make a difference in her city by helping people in need.

With the help of the community, Marleigh Riley is putting together care packages for people experiencing homelessness in the area.

“I’ve seen a lot of people on the streets and they are cold and sleepy all the time and I just wanna make their holidays a little happier and warmer,” said Marleigh.

She got the idea after visiting the Salvation Army and Room in the Inn.

She said seeing people in need makes her want to help.

“I saw like all these people lonely and sad but then I saw all these people like giving food to them and money to them and I thought what a great idea I should do this to,” said Marleigh.

Her mom, Autumn Grinstead, is so proud of her daughter.

“She’s inspiring other people to be involved it’s also really neat to see someone really young want to do something on her own I mean she does this all on her own she does not ask for help and it takes a lot of work she organizes the money she take that money and budgets it and really thinks hard on what someone that is homeless in our community might need,” said Grinstead.

Last year, Marleigh started collecting money from her teachers and made her first group of backpacks.

“I made $120 and was able to make 12 care packages,” said Marleigh.

But this year she plans to do so much more.

She has already far exceeded her fundraising goal of doubling last year’s bags, and is now working to put together as many bags as she possibly can.

She has also received donated canned food and toiletries as well.

There are even other children offering to donate their time to help stuff the bags with her.

Marleigh said she wants to continue this donation tradition throughout the rest of her life.

“It was just like the best thing ever,” said Marleigh.

If you would like to donate to Marleigh’s cause, Winter for the Homeless, you can Venmo @HelpBGHomeless or email (to donate items) HelpBGHomless@gmail.com

The website is https://sites.google.com/d/1o5wLcfpUuwpzWkWEF1mdHdvu88SJdtNv/edit