Hannah Taylor of Winnipeg, Canada saw a homeless person for the first time when she was five years old. She remained worried for the man, and others in his same predicament, for the next year and so her mother suggested she do something about it to feel better. So Hannah started The Ladybug Foundation, a charity that fights homelessness that has raised over a million dollars to date. To raise funds, Hannah holds “Big Bosses” lunches where she speaks to groups of prominent businessmen over lunch to get them to contribute toward solving the homeless problem in Canada. She also created “Make Change” months during which she distributes glass Ladybug containers to businesses and schools all over the country for people to donate their spare change. In addition, she has speaking engagements booked throughout the year all over Canada, which she manages to handle while attending school.
In 2007 Juanita Peters made a short film about Hannah called Hannah’s Story (watch it, below). What I was struck by watching the film is how wise beyond her years this young girl is. She knows that it’s not just money that’s needed for the homeless, but “awareness” and “heart” as well. Since homelessness, ignorance, and lack of compassion for their predicament are three issues also faced by those with severe environmental illness, it’s easy for those of us with the condition to wonder while watching the film: Where is our mascot, our young champion for the cause? Is all we need one precocious young child to see the problem and be inspired into action? All I know is that it is entirely empowering and uplifting to see how one small girl has literally changed the world for so many homeless people in Canada. While some of us have been waiting for an investor or other accomplished person of some sort to save the day, maybe we’ve been looking in the wrong direction. Maybe our savior is only a few feet tall and still in grade school. I hope watching this video will inspire something unexpected: