FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) – A 10-year-old boy from Fishers is on a mission to help homeless people across Indiana. Last week, Maddox O’Connor asked the police to help distribute 200 blessing bags. Now its goal is even greater: to donate 3,000 bags full of food, hygiene products and a handwritten note to people in need by the end of the year.
As it turns out, Maddox has been on this mission for a few years and the most inspiring part is that his compassion grew out of his own struggles for health.
When you walk into Maddox O’Connor’s living room, 10, it looks like a blessing bag assembly line. He finishes each bag at the kitchen table, with a handwritten note.
“Makes them think they’re really loved,” Maddox said. The notes usually say, “You are so loved by Jesus and the Maddox mission.”
It is a mission to ensure that everyone who is homeless or without basic needs has help.
“It’s the best thing I’ve ever done,” Maddox said. “It just makes me happy.”
He is just happy to help. It has been his favorite pastime for the past few years. It all started when Maddox was 6 and had to visit the Riley Children’s Hospital at IU Health a lot.
“This is a child who has a fatal disease, but it is not a fatal disease. And I think it pulled his heart out because he knows what it’s like to fight for even the most basic of things, ”said Maddox mother Shawn O’Connor.
Maddox suffers from a rare form of muscular dystrophy called mitochondrial disease. He was about to undergo treatment at Riley Children’s Hospital when he started giving his lunch to nearby homeless people.
“He said ‘thank you’ and I said ‘God bless you’. And that’s how it all started, ”Maddox said.
“He looked at me and said ‘I know what it’s like to live in a world that I didn’t ask to live in.’ They just need love, ”Shawn said.
It’s a special kind of love that sparked a passion and motivated Maddox’s mission.
Initially, Maddox wanted to make a million bags, but the family set a goal of 500 bags every three months. Now he distributes them to camps and homeless shelters on Thursdays. Maddox even asked the Fishermen’s Police Department to get involved.
“If they see someone in need, they can distribute it,” Maddox said.
So far this year he has donated 800 or 900 bags. The 2021 goal is 3000.
“He’s done more to show love, compassion and kindness in his short 10 years than most people can in a lifetime,” said Shawn.
“They can make a difference in the world,” Maddox said. “They are loved and they can really make a difference in the world.”
Maddox has a Facebook page and Amazon Wish List where people can donate merchandise for Blessing Bags. He also needs help filling the bags, so a group of volunteers meets at a local church every few months and people are welcome to join us. Volunteers can contact Shawn here.