MacKenzie Hinson looks like an average teenage girl. She’s full of joy, well mannered, has a bright smile, and beautiful red hair. Once you hear her story, you’ll be amazed to discover that she’s anything but ordinary. MacKenzie has a heart of gold and is literally changing thousands of lives.
I came across her story last year while watching TV. I asked her if I could share her story with you, and she so graciously agreed (thanks again!). There are so many young people out there who feel like they have to wait until they’re older before they can make an impact on their communities. If you’re one of them – hopefully, hearing her story will encourage you.
As a part of 4-H Club, Kenzie gave a speech on childhood hunger. When she realized how hunger was affecting her community, she decided to do something to help. She wanted her own food bank, and started the Make A Difference Food Pantry when she was just 10 years old. That was a few years ago.
Since then, Kenzie has provided food for thousands of people. Her food bank has continued to grow, and she has been blessed with many volunteers who help her serve her community. The Make A Difference Food Pantry provides food for children and families several times a month. She also many programs, which include a Backpack Buddy Program where she gives food to students who may not otherwise have anything to eat for the weekend. She is helping so many people who are in need, and it all started with a desire in her heart to help others.
Kenzie has met with senators and companies to discuss childhood hunger. She has been recognized by the Governor of North Carolina, and received awards and donations from companies such as Tyson Foods, General Mills, and Food Lion, among others. She has also appeared in many TV interviews on news stations, The Harry Show, and the T.D. Jakes Show to bring awareness to childhood hunger.
I hope that you are inspired by reading some of Kenzie’s amazing story. I also hope that you’re motivated to make an impact on your community, and I want you to believe that you can start now. If there’s a desire in your heart to help a specific group of people, or to assist your community in general, you don’t have to wait until you’re older. How great is that?
You can do anything you set your mind to do. You are capable of great things. The reason you have certain desires and goals is because God knows that you have what it takes to make it happen. You have something special to offer the world. Never forget that.
There are many ways that you can serve your community. There are volunteer opportunities all around you. Here are a few places to start looking around:
- Nursing/retirement homes
- Food banks
- Homeless shelters
- Animal shelters
- Charities such as United Way and Habitat for Humanity
You can also start by looking around you and seeing how you can help provide something that other people need.
- You can gather old clothes and give them to Goodwill.
- Visit an elderly person in your neighborhood that lives alone. See if they need help with things like cleaning up, grocery shopping, or lawn work. So many of them would be so happy just to have someone like you to sit and talk with them.
- Offer to babysit for someone you know
- Write encouraging letters or make your own cards and send them to people who are having harsh treatments at the hospital, or soldiers who are overseas
- Start a drive at your school in the winter time and gather gloves, hats, and scarves for homeless people and then donate them
If you’re looking for opportunities in your area, this website is awesome: www.volunteermatch.org
Oh, and to keep up with Kenzie and Make A Difference Food Pantry, follow them on Facebook.
Change the world, girl.