Ten Year Old – Inspiring Others
Copywrite By Kelly McCarthy
One young boy is on a mission to help the homeless and his advice is simple: “Just start with a smile.”
Chase Hansen from Salt Lake City, Utah, started Project Empathy, a self-funded effort that was born from an early idea to hand out smoothies to people in need.
“What makes me want to do it is just seeing their reaction. When you donate to a local homeless shelter or something, you really don’t see their gratitude. You don’t get to see their face,” he told “Good Morning America.” “But if you do it in person, you can make a connection. You can make a bond.”MORE: Teen book club founder created a ‘brotherhood’ with African-American boys through reading
Since he first started helping the local community at the age of 4, Hansen’s efforts, with the help of his dad, have blossomed into a passion project that highlights faith and community. To date he has shared over 150 meals.
Hansen said even small gestures can have an impact on others who are less fortunate.
“Just start with a smile, a hello. It really just starts with that,” he said. “Then introduce yourself and when you feel comfortable and you’ve smiled and talked to enough people you’ll feel power to go out and invite them to a meal.”
He continued, “That’s a good opportunity to connect with more people and make more friendships.”
His father, John Hansen, told “GMA” that “ever since Chase was little he just wanted to make a difference, I’m so proud of him.”
“He’s my hero,” he added.
Chase said he has two dreams for the future of Project Empathy.
“My hope for the future is to spread more connection around our wonderful country,” Chase said. “I started this in Salt Lake City, Utah, and I feel that I just want everybody in that county to just try it once. And my big dream is for everyone in this country to just try it once.”
The inspiring young man also received a surprise from Applebee’s, which will provide 100 meals to the homeless.
“I love Applebee’s and I know a lot of homeless people that love Applebee’s too,” he said, beaming.