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A Girl's Gift to the Homeless

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On Thanksgiving Day 2004, as her mom, Doris, served turkey at Toledo’s Cherry Street Mission, 4-year-old Hannah spotted a man with ripped boots. “Mommy, his feet are gonna freeze,” she said. She pulled off her sneakers to offer him her pink socks until her mom convinced her they wouldn’t fit. The next day Hannah told her mom she wanted to buy socks for that man and others in need. Doris bought 100 pairs that Hannah and her seven siblings took to the shelter.

Today nonprofit Hannah’s Socks ( has helped some 3,500 people in Ohio. Cash and in-kind donations come from schools and churches that Hannah visits, driven by dad Vic, a school aide. “Hannah’s awe-inspiring,” says Rodney Schuster, a vice president of Cherry Street.

The second grader and chief sock-counter says of the homeless, “I want them to know we care.” That resonates with John, 37, who lost his fast-food job and says the girl who gave him thermal socks warmed his heart: “If more people were like Hannah, the world would be a better place.”

Know a hero? Send suggestions to HEROESAMONGUS@PEOPLEMAG.COM