McALLEN – Katie Blackwell juggled talking to those she was helping, media and friends at an event she organized to help 50 homeless people at Fireman's Park.
The eighth grader at Homer Morris Middle School arranged meals, care packages and medical attention for those in attendance. Earlier this summer she held her first event for those less fortunate and this time around was a medical follow up for some of those people and a late Thanksgiving lunch.
“We had the turkey made and sides donated from Denny's,” Blackwell said. “We have lots of clothes donated to us and cookies donated from the Double Tree hotel.”
The idea came for Blackwell came about when she learned about Emily's Meals, a company developed to serve healthy meals to children at care centers in the Boston area.
Blackwell's parents became involved with helping feed those less fortunate in the area and that's when she wanted to help. Money was donated to the Blackwells for their cause and Katie decided to make a picnic.
She helps 50 people receive medical attention from students from the UTRGV medical school and a meal to go along with the care packages the less fortunate get to take with them.
To spread the word about her event Blackwell used social media but also used good old-fashioned flyers.
“We go around town handing out flyers to the homeless,” she said. “We have two vans picking up people to bring them to the picnic.”
Knowing she will never receive anything in return Blackwell truly does this out of the kindness of her heart.
“Usually when you do something nice for family members you expect something back,” she said. “But these people you know you can't get anything back but it's just there smile, their thankfulness and gratitude that makes you get that most amazing feeling in the world.”