Adam Gomez,13, likes to collect blankets for the homeless of Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo/Alberto Moreno)

Kid collects 50 blankets for the homeless of Los Angeles

Adam Gomez, 13, is a typical 7th grader in Claremont, Calif. He also loves to swim competitively five days a week and collect blankets for the homeless.

“Two years ago, I had to do a report on how to make a difference in the community,” says Gomez. “One day, I was walking and I saw homeless people…My parents told me they were homeless people. When I saw them I felt sad for them — how they are always outside in the cold…I thought it would be nice to give them blankets.”

That’s how he decided on his topic for his school project. Last December, his mom took him to a homeless center in Los Angeles — a city which, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, has more than 50,000 homeless people. After about a month, he collected a total of 50 blankets for the homeless.

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Adam Gomez sorting blankets for the homeless. (Photo/Vicky Gomez)

Adam Gomez sorting blankets for the homeless. (Photo/Vicky Gomez)

“We passed fliers through my neighborhood, and I told my Spanish teacher…and my friends who are close to me,” says Gomez, who is Mexican-American.

Maria Clara Rodado-Kim, his Spanish teacher of three years, is a witness to Gomez going out there to help people in need.

“He was really adamant about finding blankets,” says Rodado-Kim. “He asked me ‘Please, do you have any blankets you can donate? In 7th grade, for someone so young, it’s amazing — to help people in need…What I loved about it is that it made the other kids want to help also. My boys also started asking.”

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Last month, Gomez joined 15,000 other young people in Seattle for the first We Day, which honors youth who are making a difference. He won an all-expenses paid trip to We Day Seattle through Amway in recognition of his exceptional community service. And now, kids all around the country and Canada, ages 13 to 22, are encouraged to enter the  Who Cares Challenge by sending in their philanthropic story for a chance to win $10,000 for the non-profit of their choice.

Gomez is just excited to help more.

“We might start next month to maybe collect more than just blankets, and raise money to buy blankets, instead of just asking people for blankets,” he says.

He says it’s all worth it to see how happy it makes them when he gives them the blankets.

“This is the type of person you meet, and you like right away,” says Rodado-Kim. “He has good energy. He’s a positive kid.”

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