*At the ripe old age of 8-years-old, Tyler Stallings says he’s been on a mission to help homeless veterans for half of his life. During an appearance on “Good Morning America” Thursday, the little “superhero” revealed he’s raised $50,000 and counting for his cause.
“It’s been a journey but a rewarding one,” his mom Andrea Blackstone told “GMA.” “I just want to encourage people to listen to their kids because you never know where their ideas can go.”
Tyler and his mother were then surprised with $25,000 to continue to help veterans in need. The organization where Tyler volunteers, Maryland Center for Veteran Education and Training (MCVET), also received a $25,000 check.
“I want to help shelters and I also want to help other people to get back on their feet with it,” Tyler said about the check.
Blackstone said when Tyler was 4 she wanted to teach him about the importance of veterans because there are several in their family. She turned to YouTube to show her son videos about veterans and the things they do for our country. As Tyler was watching these YouTube videos, he came across one about homeless veterans.
“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 said. “He asked me, ‘If they’re heroes why should they be on the street?'”
Blackstone got Tyler in touch with Maryland’s Gov. Larry Hogan and with his help Tyler was given a kid’s grant of $100 through Start A Snowball. With the help of the grant and a GoFundMe link Blackstone shared on Facebook, Tyler decided that once a year on Veteran’s Day, he would gather items like clothes and hygiene products to give homeless veterans care packages.
This went over so well, however, that they decided Veteran’s Day alone wasn’t enough.
Tyler began to work with the Maryland Center for Veteran Education and Training (MCVET) as the designated “superhero” of their shelter. As their “superhero” Tyler’s goal is to raise awareness of the veteran’s sacrifices to others and brings “hero bags” for veterans who are homeless or need basic supplies.
Watch his story below, or here at GMA.com.