Few fifth graders have started their own charities. Madisyn Howard is an exception. Through Madisyn’s Heart, The Talitha Cumi Girls Mentoring Program, and her individual volunteer work, she’s already touched countless lives – and she’s just getting started.
Madi, as her friends and family call her, has always wanted to help people. She’s always been disappointed that she is too young to help her mom, Tonya, who works with homeless individuals battling mental illness and substance abuse issues. So, at age eight, she decided to find her own way to help people in need.
“Follow your dreams, even if you’re young and always help people when you can.”
“I started by collecting money and donations to make gift bags for a children’s hospital in Atlanta,” she says. “I really like to help people who are sick.”
She also provides notebooks, journals, pens, and hand sanitizer for patients receiving chemotherapy in Douglasville. The clinic is particularly special to Madisyn because a close family friend and mentor was treated for breast cancer there. She also collects clothes, coats, scarves, and toys for children at the S.H.A.R.E. House, a domestic violence shelter in Douglasville.
“There’s no stopping her once she makes up her mind to do something that will benefit others,” Tonya says. “She has a heart designed to love and serve. When she came up with her own idea for helping, she wanted to start immediately. I asked her to wait until summer break because of our busy schedules. Soon after summer break began, I walked into my living room and witnessed treats, gifts, and toys everywhere. She was beyond excited and ready to share, and clearly had been at work for a while.”
One of Madisyn’s other pet projects is handing out affirmation cards that say things like “you are smart,” “you are beautiful,” “you are nice,” and more. She hands the cards out randomly, just to make people smile. Last year, she created a special version for police and firefighters, which included “thank you for your service” cards.
“I just think people need to hear those things sometimes,” Madisyn says. “Affirmations really work!”
Madisyn, who attends Connections Academy online through Genesis Consulting Group Homeschool Co-Op in Fayetteville, says her favorite subject is science. Her newest project is a book about how she started her charity.
“I want to write about how I started a charity and how other people can too, no matter their age,” she explains. “I want to teach people how to make a little go a long way until they are able to do more.”
Madisyn is also working with fellow cover girl Olivia Blevins on a YouTube show and workbook to teach other kids about entrepreneurship. Topics will include budgeting and saving money, revenue, choosing locations, and more.
“I like helping people and I love teaching people how to help,” she says. “I think I’m going to be a great teacher. But I’m always going to have my charity too.”
Meet Fayette Woman Magazine’s 2018 Women to Watch. From writing a book for kids with ADHD to showing us how to help the sick and homeless, the girls on the cover of this year’s Women to Watch issue are truly astounding! Three of them have already formed nonprofits. One is a charge nurse and mentor at Piedmont Fayette Hospital. They’re all on a path to a brilliant future, fortified with a determination to help others, and they all have wise words to share with people of all ages. Read on to learn more about these dynamos and many other amazing young women in our community. You’ll be inspired!