Sometimes you read about someone who is doing extraordinary things and you’re inspired or motivated. After reading about Bethany I had all the feels…inspired, motivated and reassured that there are amazing people in this world. We’re lucky to have this little girl with big aspirations in Savannah. Keep an eye on her, she’s just getting started!

Bethany is 5 years old (turning 6 on August 27th), in the 1st grade of home school. Like most 5 year olds she enjoys playing outside, exploring nature, listening to Dolly Parton and going to the beach with her family.  She also has a list of things she’d like to do when COVID is over…this includes hugging her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins and also trying goat yoga for the first time. Bethany would like to be a conservationist when she grows up.  She cares deeply about wildlife (and our world) and would like to help preserve and improve it for future generations. But Bethany doesn’t have to be “grown up” to make an impact on our community…she started Happy Bags at the ripe age of 5!

Bethany came up with the idea for Happy Bags when riding around town, she started crying after seeing all the homeless people on the streets. She told her mother she wanted to empty out her piggy bank and give all of her money to the homeless people. Her mother told her, “Instead of giving them money, we could make bags with items they need. We could keep them in the car and give them out whenever we saw someone in need.” The idea grew from there. She decided on the name “Happy Bags” because she wanted to brighten their day. She wants them to know that someone cares about them and, she hopes that these bags will make them happy. Pause to let the reader get a tissue.

Since then they have distributed about 150 bags. They started in December and then in March, COVID hit and everything came to a screeching halt, only recently have they started handing bags out again but the unstoppable Bethany said she wanted to do more. Her mother said, “That’s when she told me that she wanted to ask for donations and supplies for her birthday. It was her dream to help as many people throughout Savannah as she could.”

They pass out the Happy Bags out all over town. They are handed out whenever and wherever we see people in need. Bethany and her mom agree, “It’s nice to get out of the house for a bit, go for a drive and brighten someone else’s day!” The bags include everything from food, hygiene products, sun screen, bug spray, band aids, toothpaste and brushes. They even had dog treats to give to the homeless pups. And the best part…every single bag also receives a special note card made by Bethany.

Currently the bag contents are being funded by Bethany’s family, every time they shop for groceries Bethany picks out a few extra items for her Happy Bags. Also a few Savannahians have generously donated after reading about her on the popular Facebook page Stone Stairs of Death. Right now they are asking for people to like & follow Bethany’s Happy Bags on Facebook where they will post updates and requests. You can also donate directly from the Amazon wish list link.

Bethany talks a lot about opening up a shelter or building homes for homeless people and families. However, “when I grow up” is not the context, she says, “when I’m a teenager.” Bethany has already mastered a quote from her favorite artist, Dolly Parton, “find out who you are and do it on purpose.” And this extraordinary young lady’s purpose benefits everyone.