SOUTH WINDSOR -- A child on a mission, and an entire community standing behind him.
12-year-old Tiernan Cabot, the founder of Hartford Bags of Love, came up with the idea to host a Homelessness Sleep Out to bring awareness to the homeless community and the struggles they face every day. A group of about 25 people left their warm homes to sleep in tents or boxes at Nevers Park.
"It was very real and it makes you realize that many people from our community in this region actually do this during the winter months every single day," said State Senator Dr. Saud Anwar, who co-hosted the event.
Cabot started the organization Hartford Bags of Love three years ago when he was just nine years old.
"He makes us feel more aware. He’s bringing this to our attention and the town. More people in town are becoming aware of it," said Mayor Andrew Paterna.
The seventh-grader says his hope is to inspire others to learn more about the homeless, but above all, to show empathy.
"We want to make sure that people understand that they are humans just like us, they're humans with emotions and feelings," said Cabot.
This was the first year the sleep out was held, but Hartford Bags of Love collects donations for the homeless community year round at www.hartfordbagsoflove.com