This 7-year-old is helping Chicago's homeless mask up during COVID-19

GMA TEAM
·1 min read

"GMA" celebrates the heroes who rose to challenges on the front lines, in the classroom, in their communities and beyond amid the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020.

At just 7 years old, Olivia Tyler is on a mission to protect Chicago's homeless from COVID-19 -- one mask at a time.

The soon-to-be third grader came up with the idea in April, after hearing of a statewide order requiring face coverings in public places on TV.

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"She turned to me and asked, 'How are homeless people going to get masks? How are they going to afford them?," Olivia's mom Linda Tyler said.

PHOTO: Olivia Tyler, 7, has handed out over 800 masks to Chicago's homeless since April. (Andrew Tyler)
PHOTO: Olivia Tyler, 7, has handed out over 800 masks to Chicago's homeless since April. (Andrew Tyler)

The pair went out and bought facial coverings in bulk then sold a few online to members of their local congregation for $5. With each sale Olivia could donate another mask to people on the streets.

PHOTO: Olivia Tyler, 7, has handed out over 800 masks to Chicago's homeless since April. (Andrew Tyler)
PHOTO: Olivia Tyler, 7, has handed out over 800 masks to Chicago's homeless since April. (Andrew Tyler)

"She is a stickler about doing it herself," dad Andrew Tyler said. "She wants to be on the street or in that parking lot, giving them out personally."

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With the help of her parents, Olivia launched her own nonprofit-- Olivia Dru Cares-- after the family realized lots of neighbors and friends wanted to pitch in. She began making her own masks, including two hands embracing to represent the collective effort against COVID-19 and others with hearts.

The youngster has donated more than 800 masks to date, walking through tent cities and encampments for personal deliveries with mom and dad.

PHOTO: Olivia Tyler, 7, has handed out over 800 masks to Chicago's homeless since April. (Andrew Tyler)
PHOTO: Olivia Tyler, 7, has handed out over 800 masks to Chicago's homeless since April. (Andrew Tyler)

"It makes me feel happy to give people something that protects them from getting sick," Olivia said.

Editor's note: This was originally published on July 10, 2020.

This 7-year-old is helping Chicago's homeless mask up during COVID-19 originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com