SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diegans frequently walk past people living on the streets. We’ve gotten used to it. But 16-year-old Kate Wharton grew up in Texas, and says she’s never seen so many people without homes.
"It wasn’t normal for me," Wharton said. "I guess if you live here you're exposed to it more, but since I came from somewhere else it was a huge culture shock.”
She’s always wanted to help them, and in November, she decided to start a nonprofit called ‘My Holiday Fairy’. In one month, Wharton and other volunteers raised $2,400 to buy gifts for homeless children before Christmas. Wharton received wishlists from kids at the San Diego Rescue Mission.
“Once we got their wishlist, we just went shopping with it,” Wharton said.
She also brought generic gifts for mothers and women at the emergency shelter.
“Many of them enter the emergency shelter with very low expectations for the holidays," said Ashley Brown, Director of the Nueva Haven Emergency Shelter. "So it’s always excitement, just a lot of joy.”
“One of the little boys actually ran up to me and gave me a hug," Wharton said. "And when he hugged me it made everything worth it.”
Wharton says she wants to do this for other holidays as well. She’s planning giveaways for Valentine's Day, Easter, and Halloween.