Second grade student gathers donations for city’s homeless population

Cayden Tyler, 8, sets a portion of clothes he donated to Family Promise in a donation area at the location on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. Ryan Painter/The Signal
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An 8-year-old with a big heart and a lot of holiday spirit is spending his December collecting new socks and new and used gloves, beanies and blankets to give to the city’s homeless population through Family Promise of Santa Clarita Valley.

With support from his grandmother, Cayden Tyler, a second grade student at Meadows Elementary School, is asking for the community’s help to contribute to his effort, called “Cayden’s Winter Warehouse.”

“I will be collecting socks, gloves and beanies and blankets for the homeless… because I feel sad for them,” Cayden said on a video he created to get the word out about his Winter Warehouse.  “They usually don’t get that much and they don’t usually get that much love so I want to give all of my gifts to them because I feel really bad for them.”

This is the first year Cayden and his grandmother, Kathy Gorlick, have worked to gather new and used items for the city’s homeless population.  In the past, they purchased toys and dropped them off at the fire station.

“The last couple years we went and purchased toys and then took them to the fire station, but usually no one is there and we just drop off a bag.  There wasn’t a connection between what he was doing and who he was helping.” Gorlick said.

Cayden’s brother, CJ, helps carry a pile of winter clothes into Family Promise’s headquarters on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. Ryan Painter/The Signal

After speaking with Cayden about people who are homeless and their reasons for being on the streets, Gorlick and Cayden decided to turn their annual Christmas donations from colorful toys to warm clothes.

“I had been reading about how one of the things is really needed right now for a lot of the homeless people is socks and gloves and things like that,” Gorlick said.  “I thought this would be a meaningful thing for him to do… so he came up with ideas about it.”

To keep things simple, Cayden’s Winter Warehouse is collecting only new and used items of clothing that include socks, gloves, beanies and blankets.

“The socks have to be new, but everything else can be used,” Gorlick said.

Cayden Tyler, 8, carries a large pile of winter clothes he gathered for Family Promise from the back of his grandmother’s SUV to the organization’s office in Canyon Country, Calif. on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017. Ryan Painter/The Signal

Once they gather enough donations, Gorlick and Cayden then bring the items to Family Promise, which agreed to give the donations to the homeless families they serve.

“I hope that he does get more things to donate to them because I think that will really mean a lot to him and make him feel good about contributing to society and helping out,” Gorlick said.  “He just has a really big heart.”

Those wishing to donate items to Cayden’s Winter Warehouse can contact Kathy Gorlick directly at [email protected].  Gorlick said she would organize with each person individually to find the best time to pick up their donated items with Cayden.

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On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_

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