Meet the 9-year-old who is leading programs to help homeless people
Nine-year-old Miracle Omar from Maryland is passionate about her projects that benefit homeless people. She gives out school supplies, distributes socks and toiletries to people living outside, and collects household items to give to previously homeless people when they obtain housing.
The project to collect socks is called “Sox in the Box.” Miracle realized that people who are homeless do not have a lot of belongings, and she was worried about them living outside. “They could probably get bitten by something and get sick,” she said. She also noted they do not have a family to hang out with or a TV to watch. Concerned, she wanted to help.
Miracle’s father, Sharif Omar, came up with the name, but the concept was her idea, she said.
Miracle and her father bought socks at the store and put them in boxes, hanging posters to encourage people to donate more. They placed boxes and posters at Hairazors Hair Salon in District Heights, MD, Planet Fitness in Greenbelt, MD, and Planet Fitness in D.C. “Some of them were completely empty, they were just our socks in some of them, and some of them were
really, really full,” Miracle said. “I think people probably read the poster and then probably bought some socks and put them in there.” This year, she and her father will be placing boxes in the same places, with the addition of Planet Fitness in Landover, MD. Miracle and her father are also researching information about where other boxes to collect socks can be placed. Currently, the only place in D.C. that has a box is Planet Fitness in Ivy City.
Their original goal was pairs of 250 socks, but they collected 700. Now, their goal is to surpass that.
This year, half of the socks Miracle collects will go to hurricane victims. She said she heard about the natural disasters in Houston, Florida and Puerto Rico and became aware of how bad the situation was. She was horrified by the loss of life and knew that the survivors would have many needs. “I bet you they don’t have socks on right now. I mean, I bet they’re wet and cold and all icky. And if they’re living with someone, someone wouldn’t want to smell their feet, and then they would kind of feel lonely. We can change that by giving them some socks, too.”
Miracle and some of her friends previously gave out toiletries to homeless people. Each donation they distributed contained toothpaste, a toothbrush, a towel, soap, deodorant, floss, pads for girls and razors for boys in a Ziploc bag. “It was fun passing [them] out,” Miracle said.
Additionally, Miracle has begun a project titled “Make Yourself at Home.” She has collected things that she says people might have in a house, such as washcloths, curtains and sheets. The
items will go to homeless people after they are placed in housing. Miracle is partnering with Community of Hope for this project.
In addition, Miracle and her father are looking for a way to be a bridge between those providing school supplies and the school system. Sharif recalled meeting a teacher recently who said teachers are supplied with $200 gift cards to spend on school supplies for their students. “It got to the point where [Miracle] was going to IHOP on Kids Eat Free Night, going ‘Did you get your school supplies yet?’” Sharif said. He noted that people are simply not aware of the resources available.
There is always more that people her age can do to help people, Miracle noted. “If someone’s really poor, they could possibly give them some money, or try to go out and see outside and see what’s going on in the world. And if something bad is happening, they can find a way to fix it, if it’s possible for them.”
Miracle’s class visited to the White House, where she asked what the president plans to do about homelessness, can be seen on her YouTube channel, “Life with The Princess.” Her channel also contains archived videos of her radio show, “Life with The Princess,” which airs every second and fourth Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. The show can also be watched live on the channel or listened to at wol.baltimore.newsone.com. Miracle is one of the youngest radio hosts in the United States.