By: Steve Minich, WMTW Anchor
A 14-year-old girl is on a mission to help her community’s homeless individuals stay comfortable by filling backpacks with basic essentials.
Madison Waldbauer delivers backpacks filled with items like blankets, toothbrushes, hand warmers and even tents to local shelters and soup kitchens.
Madison launched Madison’s Maine Mission in 2021, shortly after moving to Belgrade from Maryland.
She had a similar effort there years earlier while enduring tough times herself. Those times included regular trips to the hospital to care for a cyst on her brain.
“I would go to the hospital a lot — Children’s hospital in Washington, D.C., so I would see all the people on the side of the road and how they were asking for stuff and everything,” Madison told WMTW’s Steve Minich.
Madison’s mother Lyndee Waldbauer couldn’t be more proud. She says the mission is fully her daughter’s project, from raising the money to shopping and stuffing the bags.
“She’s been through a lot of things medically, and to see her come out on the other side, wanting to help other people. You know, I’m so thankful that she has that attitude and is going to continue to bring that to the world,” Lyndee Waldbauer said.
In less than two years, Madison has already raised enough donations to deliver 65 bags and six tents. She’ll soon start hosting in-person fundraisers.
It’s all just the tip of Madison’s long-range mission.
“To be honest, I want to make it my own non-profit one day, to be able to help way more many people than I am now,” Madison said.
To view the news clip, click here.