Inspired to make a difference at the age of five
When Hannah was five, she saw a homeless man eating out of a dumpster. She asked her mom where he was sleeping that night, who was looking after him. "She said, 'You know, if you do something about it, maybe your heart won't feel so sad'," recalls Hannah.
With the help of her parents, teachers and others who cared, Hannah set up the Ladybug Foundation to improve the lives of homeless people. As a result of Hannah's determination, millions of dollars were raised, and a Winnipeg shelter for the homeless now bears her name.
Creating friendship and dignity for homeless people
One of the many hearts touched by Hannah belongs to Rick Adams. He had been homeless for more than two decades when she visited his shelter. "This little girl came around the corner, this little angel with a heart that's twice the size of her," says Rick. "The warmth that I felt inside, I just couldn't believe it." The two have been friends ever since and Rick eventually joined the Ladybug Board. He also got a job and his own home. "It gave me my dignity back. I'm Rick now, not just a person who walks down the street with his head down."
Rick, in turn, has had a positive impact on Hannah's life. "When things get busy with school or with Ladybug I'm able to talk to him, and he's there for me," says Hannah. "I'm very lucky to have him."
Age does not define what you can do
Hannah says that her true reward has been realising the power we all carry within. "Age does not define what you can do," she says. "My generation is incredibly hopeful, we have so many ideas and we so want to make our mark on the world and make it better."
We congratulate Hannah on her determination to make a difference to the lives of others. We hope her story inspires you to believe that you can make a difference, however old you are.
The Rick Hansen Difference Maker Program
empowers young people to make positive change in their communities. Click here to find out more about the Program
Read more stories of inspirational young Difference Makers here.