GREENFIELD — She didn’t catch his name. But his story and worries — braving winter with no warm clothing — stuck with Addison Brown.

The fourth-grader at Greenfield Intermediate School spent the past month asking family, friends and neighbors for socks, gloves, scarfs and hats — anything that would make winter more bearable for her neighbors who don’t have a warm place to call home or struggle to make ends meet and need a little extra help at the holidays.

Last week, Addison and her family showed up to Kenneth Butler Memorial Soup kitchen armed with 100 gift bags. Inside were gloves, hats and socks. Some had scarves. All of them were packaged with a candy cane — a touch of Christmas in each bag, Addison declared.

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She handed the bags out to the families who visited the soup kitchen for a warm meal. Addison and her mom, Stacy Brown, have volunteered at the soup kitchen for about a year. They’ve heard the stories; know of the struggle some families face.

After a particularly sad conversation — when a man said he wasn’t sure how he’d stay warm this winter because he doesn’t own a hat or gloves — Addison had an idea, her mom said.

Nobody should have to worry about being cold. She asked her parents for help, and they started collecting warm clothing.

They asked family and friends; posted in the Nextdoor app for their Greenfield neighborhood.

Everyone wanted to help, Stacy Brown said. And soon, donations started pouring in.

People donated hats and socks. Students at Mt. Vernon Middle School — where Addison’s dad, Dan, works — made scarves. Some donated money. Others, toys and books, which Addison raffled off to children at the soup kitchen Friday.

There was warm clothing for all ages: babies, children, men and women.

So much was donated, Addison was able to take the extras — 25 pairs of gloves, 11 scarves, 16 hats and a handful of socks — to the Hancock County Food Pantry for its patrons.

“I feel proud,” she said with a smile. “I’m helping so much people, and they’ll be warm.”

Friday, as Addison and her family prepared to pass the bags out, her little sister, Savannah, whispered something to her mom.

“I’m proud of her too,” Stacy said, kissing Addison’s cheek.

Before dinner was served, Chris Wade, a board member for the soup kitchen, prepared the soup kitchen’s visitors for the gifts they were about to receive.

She introduced Addison, calling her a precious little angel whose heart was really touched by one visitor’s story.

Just a few seconds later, Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus came through the door. Looking at Addison and her family, Santa said, “I’ve got great elves, don’t I?” as he took a seat ready to hear the kids’ Christmas wishes.

Wade said Addison is so dedicated to volunteering at the kitchen, she gets upset if she can’t come. And earlier this year, she gave the money she received from the tooth fairy to the soup kitchen.

“She’s 9. Imagine what she’s going to do when she’s 19. I can’t imagine,” Wade said.

Addison has a long track record of giving to others and serving her community, her mom said.

When she was 4, she raised money to donate to Riley Hospital for Children.

And after winning a chance to shadow Mayor Chuck Fewell for a day last year, Addison went to work helping at Greenfield-Hancock Animal Management. Soon, she told her mom she wanted to volunteer at the soup kitchen, too.

Brown said she and her husband have tried to teach their children to give back what they can. Even when money is tight, and they can’t give monetary donations, the family gives their time, Stacy said.

“She’s always had that heart to help other people,” Stacy Brown said. “I call her my old soul.”

Spending time at the soup kitchen has taught Addison to be appreciative for all she has: dinner every night, a warm home and a loving family.

The soup kitchen’s patrons are always grateful, Addison said. And Friday, they didn’t disappoint.

Casey Cole visited the soup kitchen with her 3-month-old daughter and 4-year-old son.

In between bites of dinner, Cole said she’s thankful for the hats, gloves and scarves her family was gifted. She’s had gloves for her kids on her shopping list.

And any help, especially this time of year, goes a long way as she looks for places to save money, Cole said.

The stuffed animals and books the kids received were an added bonus.

Even before the soup kitchen closed for the weekend, bringing an end to her project, Addison was already thinking about ways she can help next Christmas.

“She’s always thinking about her next project,” Stacy Brown said.

Angels among us

This holiday season, the Daily Reporter celebrates those community members who it take it upon themselves to bring Christmas cheer to those who need it most.

This holiday season, the Daily Reporter celebrates those community members who it take it upon themselves to bring Christmas cheer to those who need it most.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or