Boy, 8, raises more than $50K for homeless veterans over 4 years

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(CNN) – Over the past four years, a young boy in Maryland has raised more than $50,000 and helped nearly 3,000 homeless veterans with his “hero bags.”

Tyler Stallings was just 4 years old when he first learned some veterans are homeless. Veterans are part of his extended family, including his father, uncle and grandfather, and he always thought of them as heroes.

He wanted to do something to help them right away, so he started making what he calls “hero bags.” During winter, a “hero bag” could be filled with a hat, gloves, blanket, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap and a whole lot more.

“I wanted to do something nice for as many veterans in need as I could because they deserve it!” wrote Tyler on his GoFundMe page.

In the four years Tyler, now 8, has been helping veterans, he has donated close to 3,000 hero bags and has raised more than $50,000.

“He buys a lot of merchandise from donations. We go now all the time,” said Tyler’s mom, Andrea Blackstone.

Tyler has given bags and other items to many organizations that help homeless veterans. He has also given to individuals directly as well.

“Anything people can do to help them with items on their wish lists, that’s where people like Tyler come in,” Blackstone said. “For Tyler, being a part of that community as a superhero has been about raising awareness.”

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