“Don’t be so afraid of them, they’re just like a normal person like you. Drop the mic.” – Khloe Thompson
This article was originally posted for The Odyssey on July 12, 2016.
Anyone who has ever walked around in a city has seen someone struggling in the subway, on the sidewalk and even in the street. However, homeless people aren’t just found in large cities. There are 14,000 homeless people in the entire world. In a report from 2014, New York City places second and Los Angeles places third out of 25 cities with high homeless populations. California alone, has the highest population of homeless people in the United States, totaling at 14 percent just two years ago. In Orange County, the largest county in California, the homeless population was 3.15 million just last year. Some people, if any, will drop a few coins into a cup to “help out.” One young girl in Irvine, California has some new ideas on how to help people and she’s earned a place in the hearts of all who have seen her in action.
As a Southern California native, nine-year-old Khloe Thompson is no stranger to homeless people. The young innovator says that she would pass several of them on the way to and from school and always wondered how she could help. Though most parents would shield their child in an attempt to steer them away from interaction with homeless people, Alisha Thompson decided she would help her daughter make a difference in their community. Soon after, Khloe Kares was born and with it, the adorable Kare Bags.
Khloe’s Kare Bags are homemade and filled specifically with supplies for homeless women. Each bag is handmade and hand-sewn by Khloe with the help of her grandmother so that each woman has a “nice and sturdy bag that they can have forever.” Khloe then stuffs the bags with loads of supplies and hygiene products like deodorant, toothpaste, soap, socks, hand lotion and even feminine products.
With her mother by her side, Khloe even hand-delivers the bags to the homeless women who are usually overjoyed to receive them. Khloe says the women are very surprised and often hug her to give thanks. One woman even said, “You make me feel like a human being,” and there’s really no higher compliment than that. Khloe’s mother and grandmother are beyond proud of this nine-year-old’s accomplishments so far. In an interview with PopSugar Celebrity, they said, “She has kind of opened our eyes to be more helpful, to be more respectful, and just be more aware.”
They’re not the only ones touched by this young woman’s heartwarming charity, millions of people have reached out to assist Khloe in her endeavors, including her classmates, friends and complete strangers. In the week after Khloe’s story blew the internet’s minds, her classmates pitched in to help, raising money and donating fabric for the Kare Bags. Khloe hopes people will keep paying it forward as she has been, she says, “No dream is too small or too big. I want to inspire other kids to be great and to make your mark on this earth.”
Since registering Khloe Kares as a 501(c)3 charity organization, Khloe’s mother, Alisha created a GoFundMe page in order to help her daughter gather money for supplies to continue helping others with her organization. Almost immediately, Khloe’s fund was able to reach $3,600 out of the $10,000 dollar goal. They have since exceeded that goal and the numbers are still increasing, totaling now at just over $14,000 today.
Her Kare Bags aren’t the only stop on this giving-train though. Later this month, on July 16, Khloe will be holding a Toy Drive in Huntingdon Beach, California. The toys will be sent to children in group homes that do not have toys. Khloe comments, saying, “These kids have not had the same advantages as I have had in life, and I really want to give back and brighten their day.”
Through her optimistic and positive efforts, Khloe has managed to inspire and earn a place in all of hearts. If you would like to help Khloe help others, you can donate to her GoFundMe, or to her PayPal, located at the bottom of the screen here. More information can be found on her website, KhloeCares.