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9-year-old helping Kitsap County's homeless

BREMERTON, Wash. - When most girls might be playing with dolls, Hailey Fort is wielding a nail gun. With the help of her parents, the Kitsap County nine-year-old is building her first "mobile sleeping shelter" to give the homeless a dry and safe place to rest.

"I saw a man on the street and I wanted to help him," Hailey says. "I asked my mom if I could, and she said yes."

That was four years ago. Along with her parents, Hailey planted a small garden. This year, she hopes to harvest more than 200 pounds of fresh vegetables to help feed Kitsap County's homeless.

She also hand-delivers small toiletries to those she sees on the streets, men and women she comes to call her "friends."

It's a bit overwhelming at times for Miranda Fort, who helps her daughter and shares her progress through the "Hailey's Harvest" Facebook page.

"I think they're normally a bit taken aback," Miranda Fort says. "The fact that there's this little kid in their space asking, 'How can I help you?'"

Hailey and her parents are supported by donors, including Lowes Home Improvement, who knocked 50 percent off the cost of supplies for Hailey's shelter. She hopes to build a dozen before the end of the year, but is still looking for locations in Kitsap County that will allow them.

Hailey says she wants to be a philanthropist when she grows up; "someone who takes care of people," she says.

If you'd like to learn more, check out "Hailey's Harvest" on Facebook.

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