8-Year-Old Maryland Boy Raises Over $50,000 in Four Years to Help Homeless Veterans

Tyler Stallings boy helps veterans
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Credit: Courtesy Andrea Blackstone

An 8-year-old boy from Maryland is helping veterans get back on their feet one care package at a time.

Tyler Stallings was just four years old when he felt compelled to help veterans in need, his mother, Andrea Blackstone, explained to Good Morning America

At the time, Blackstone had shown Tyler a few online videos about veterans to teach him about what some of his relatives who enlisted in the military had done. Soon, they came across a video that focused on veterans who struggle with homelessness.

“He saw videos of veterans holding signs to no one responding to their cry for help and he thought this isn’t right. He didn’t like it,” Blackstone recalled. “He asked me, ‘If they’re heroes why should they be on the street?’ “

While Tyler initially wanted to build houses for the vets by purchasing supplies from a hardware store, Blackstone instead contacted Gov. Larry Hogan, who gave the boy a $100 grant to put to good use.

But that single donation ballooned into a mission that Tyler has carried on for four years. He soon joined the Maryland Center for Veteran Education and Training and became an advocate to raise awareness about the struggles of veterans after their service is complete.

“It was supposed to be a one-time thing, but it turned into an all the time event,” Blackstone told GMA.

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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Jason Duaine Hahn