GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A 10-year-old from Grand Rapids has collected hundreds of blankets to donate to the homeless, already surpassing his goal for next year.
In September, 24 Hour News 8 went with Ayden Quimby as he passed out 132 blankets to the homeless. Along with each blanket was a note that read, “The Ayden Project 2016: Because everyone deserves to be warm.” Since that story aired, The Ayden Project has gotten national attention and some big donations.
When Ayden started his project three years ago, he donated 10 blankets. The next year, he handed out 25. His goal for 2017 was to collect 300.
He has already met that goal — and then some. As of Sunday, he had collected nearly 500 blankets.
An American Airlines pilot saw the September report and donated 300 quilted blankets. Other donations came from the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, local companies and churches.
Ayden said it was “really cool” that so many people had donated.
“It makes me feel very happy and feel good that other people are helping,” he said.
Ayden’s story has been shared across the country and around the world. His aunt said the project has received messages from Italy.
He gives because he knows what it’s like to be homeless. A few years ago, he lived with his mother in a car.
Other kids collect things like baseball cards or comics. So does Ayden find it strange that he collects blankets for the homeless?
“Not really,” he said. “I think it’s very nice.”
He said he doesn’t have any plans to stop.