YORK, Pa. (WHTM) – He may only be eight years old, but Tristan Rankin has big dreams to make the community a better place.
“I want the world to be warmer,” he says.
Tristan got the idea to start Coats of Friendship, his own non-profit organization, at the ripe old age of six after seeing two homeless men in a video.
“I saw a homeless man in a trash bag in five degrees in New York. For two hours, no one gave a coat to him,” the third-grader said.
Tristan runs the organization. It includes four other kids, ranging from kindergarten to fifth grade, from Friendship Elementary School in Glen Rock.
They handed out winter necessities Saturday morning at LifePath Christian Ministries, formerly the York Rescue Mission. The group made sure the homeless and less fortunate had the coats, scarves, and hats they need for the winter.
“I can thank God that I’m able to walk, and I could get out and come down here,” said Jane Duseh, who’s homeless and got a coat.
Coats of Friendship collected 85 coats last year. This year, 704 to help out both adults and children in the community.
“We are just absolutely blessed that these children understand poverty has no zip code, homelessness has no zip code,” said Matt Carey, executive director of LifePath Christian Ministries.
The kids helped hundreds at the Ministries and then put out about 250 winter items at Penn Park, Farquhar Park, and Albemarle Park in York.
“He thinks he can truly in his mind make the world a better place. That’s what he tells us all the time, and it’s very simple to him that the world can be a great place,” said Tracee Rankin, Tristan’s mom.
Tristan believes no one should be cold, and even young people can make an impact.
“Everyone can make a difference,” Tristan said.
Tristan has already started his drive for next year. Click here for more information on how you can donate.