A local 12-year-old is making a big difference in the lives of those less fortunate.
It’s all done through a program called Maddie’s Closet.
Today the program got a $15,000 grant.
Maddie Cook teamed up with her mom Kelly to start the non-profit that provides clothes, shoes and accessories to those in need.
The pair helping others feel confident in class makes them this week’s Local 4’s Finest.
It all started with a passion to help others.
Madison had a whole bunch of clothes that she had wanted to get rid of but she wanted to find someone who was her size that she could give them to that needed them.
Maddie’s Closet has been up and running for 3 months and has already helped over 95 families in the Quad Cities.
“For the first two weeks it was kind of slow going and we didn’t know what it was we were doing,” Kelly Cook said. “Then we kind of prayed on it again, like what is it that we are supposed to be doing. We put our tythes that week toward boosting a Facebook advertisement page and we grew 110 percent that week.”
And today, thanks to a generous donation, Maddie’s Closet is on wheels — bus wheels that is. The non-profit is now mobile, making sure they can help all those who need it, even outside the Quad Cities.
“Having the bus now means more people can actually jump in and help, whereas when it is run out of my house it is kind of just us,” Kelly Cook said. “And we are kind of hoping now that the word gets out that we can connect with a couple more of the schools around the area. We will travel all the way from Davenport all the way to East Moline/Colona area. We really want to make sure all of the kids are feeling good and confident about themselves.”
The bus was redone by a $10,000 grant from the Nations of Neighbors program, which is a program that supports women who are serving their communities.
To date the program has given out $1.8 million across the nation with just over 20 percent of that money staying here in the Quad Cities to help organizations like Maddie’s Closet.
And we have done over $400,000 here in the Quad Cities. An additional $5,000 grant will help Maddie and her mom pay for gas oil and drivers of the bus, so they can further their mission of helping others.
But what’s next?
“Well we are going to be on the road,” Kelly Cook said. “We are really excited about it, hopefully soon we will have the bus wrapped. We are kind of going for a teal color. That is going to be really amazing and appeals to both boys and girls. And just hitting all the neighborhoods and schools.”
This continued success is why Royal Neighbors of America CEO Cynthia Tidwell continues to empower local women.
“It is all to make communities better,” Tidwell said. “It’s about women doing extraordinary things and helping them make their communities better.
With winter right around the corner, Maddie’s Closet is in need of winter jackets and boots. If you’re cleaning out your closet, head to their Facebook page for more on how to donate.
And as always if you know someone in the community going above and beyond, we want to hear about it.