Ann Marie's All Stars: Metro Detroit sixth grader collects scarves for kids in need

Posted at 5:48 AM, Jan 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-11 06:04:40-05

An 11-year-old in Oakland County is making sure kids in his area stay warm this winter.

Sixth grader Alex VanHaren started a charity at his school that will make you think: "why doesn’t every school do this?"

Well, now they are.

“I saw them without winter clothes and they were all just like huddled together to produce body heat,” Alex said.

Alex was just 8 years old at Oxford Elementary School when he saw a problem, classmates shivering on recess because they didn’t have warm enough clothes.

“I just felt really bad for them so I just asked my mom if one day if she could help me and I started carrying two scarves with me,” he said.

Carrying two scarves so he always had one for a classmate in need.

“It just made me really sad,” he said.

But then Alex had an even bigger idea.

“The name is Scarves 4 Cozy Kids,” Alex said. “We have boxes that we fill with hats gloves and scarves and we put them out at elementary schools and high schools for the less fortunate kids or people who need them.”

For the past three years, Alex has taken donations to fill these boxes he’s left at now 19 different schools. Alex also donates scarves hats and gloves to countless charities, but he does have one rule – no one in need has to ask for anything.

“I feel like it’s not important to ask, you can just take whatever you want because if you had to ask it might be embarrassing,” Alex said. “They can just do whatever they want with it, take it home for a family member.”

As we face the coldest temperatures we’ve had in years.

“I feel like that gave me the inspiration to just expand as big as I can right now,” Alex said.

Now 11 years old at Oxford Middle School, he’s proving anyone at any age, can change someone’s life with something as small, as a scarf.

“I’m really glad that people want to make a difference,” he said. “Anyone with the right mind can make an impact even if they start out small.”

There’s still a huge need and Alex is always collecting hats, gloves and scarves.

You can donate to Scarves 4 Cozy Kids on through their Facebook page.