Little Alabama Girl Uses Allowance Money to Make Goody Bags for the Homeless and Delivers Them

Tynslee Blue, 5, was upset to see a homeless man sleeping near a dumpster.

The plight of the homeless weighs heavy on the small heart of 5-year-old Tynslee Blue in northern Alabama.

She worries where they will sleep, what will happen to them when it gets cold, why they have no place to call their own.

"It just upsets her," said her mother, Haley Bennett. When she sees them outside, especially if it's hot or if it's cold, her mind goes into overdrive with anxiety.

Which is why, with the help of her family, Tynslee now assembles "blessing bags" — plastic zip bags packed with food, tissues, pads, napkins, books and clothing; anything, really, that may provide a modicum of relief for those living without a home.

Her mom drives her to local park where transients often gather and with her 2-year-old sister and 3-year-old cousin in tow, Tynslee pulls a wagon filled with bags of bounty and hands them out. 

The recipients are usually astounded. "They're shocked," her mother said. "They weren't expecting a 5-year-old to walk up and say, 'I just wanted to give this to you.'''

There isn't much in the way of community services for sheltering the homeless in their hometown of Florence, Haley said. And there's nothing much for the disinherited to do except hang around, she added.

"They're not allowed in the libraries here," Bennett said. So now Tynslee and her mom pack donated paperbacks into the bags. "The books help them pass the time." They also tuck in crossword puzzle books, when they can find them. "It helps with the boredom of just sitting there all day."

The mission began a year ago, when Bennett's fiance came home late from a construction job and said he saw a homeless man sleeping next to a dumpster downtown. 

"We made him a plate to take down there," Bennett said. Tynslee, who was 4 at the time, was loaded with questions. Why is he sleeping there? Where is his house? What if it rains?

So the family bought a blanket and brought it back. He could only say "thank you," he was so taken aback, Bennett said. That act of random kindness led to more. Tynslee used her allowance to help supplement family purchases of umbrellas and ponchos to keep out the wet, which begat the blessing bags.

There is now a Facebook page, Little Heroes for the Homeless, that documents the exploits of Tynslee and gives people information about what's needed and where they can donate. 

Little Tynslee is asked why she likes to help the homeless. "'Cause they don't have nobody to do it for them," the freckle-faced girl replied.

How does it make you feel when you help them? asked

"I feel inside of my body happy," she answered with a giant smile. 

"They're the same as us."