SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - One little girl. One trip to the store. So many bags.
“It started a long time ago when me and mom went to Walmart. There was a homeless person and I just wanted to help them and do something,” said Bethany Moultry, who provides bags of supplies to the homeless.
That was when Moultry was five. Now, 11 months later, she has done a lot.
“My heart broke. She was in the backseat of the car crying, saying she wanted to break open her piggy bank and give them all her money.”
Instead, Bethany and her mom researched what the homeless needed most and started putting those items in bags that they could deliver to homeless shelters and hand out on the street. “Mom said what should you call them and I said Happy Bags.”
Bethany’s Happy Bags for the Homeless, which include a variety of essentials s and a colorful, kind note, took off this summer, when Colleen started getting a lot of response on Facebook from people who wanted to help.
“What we did was we created an Amazon wish list. Yeah, and it has all kinds of stuff like socks, flashlights.”
“Two days later, we had 17 packages on our doorstep. They gave a lot.”
And Bethany has given away a lot of Happy Bags, more than 450 so far with another 300 set to be handed out at Union Mission the day before Thanksgiving.
“And then we’ve got 300 more and it will make 1,000.”
She has gotten help stuffing bags from students at the Matthew Reardon Center for Autism, where her father is on the board. And she has started to get attention from all over. Some of her Facebook posts have received more than 60,000 likes and just this week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo included a note about Bethany in his state’s weekly Covid-19 update.
“We’ve heard from people all over the country at this point.”
But, more important to Bethany has been the reaction of those she’s helping.
“They think it’s good. They like it. They need some stuff.”
“I had a woman last week tell me that the bags we give her, she uses everything. They’re the perfect bag.”
And the perfect outlet for the compassion of a 6-year old who knows she wants to keep helping the homeless.
“I guess, probably for the rest of my life, I want to.”