Breaking News
More () »

10 Rising Hearts: 8-year-old collects coats for homeless people

She wants to make the world a better place for animals and people

Christmas may be over but the spirit of the season lives on in one 8-year-old from Oneida in Scott County.

"I have two pigs, three dogs and two cats, and my pigs' names are Titus and Pepper," Kaidance Lewallen said.

Titus is a rescue pig Kaidance insisted on saving from slaughter. Pepper is a little feisty.

Kaidance is a vegan. She doesn't eat dairy, eggs or meat. She loves animals.

"I love that they have a big heart and they are so nice and they can be good to people," she said.

10 Rising Hearts Kaidance Lewallen

The 8-year-old also has a big heart for people who are homeless.

"I told my dad that I wanted to get some clothes and bring them to the homeless people so they can be warm and so they can sleep better," she said.

Her dad, Kris Lewallen, said, "Actually her statement was if I deserve to be warm then they deserve to be warm."

Kaidance started Kai's Heart and hosted a coat and blanket drive at a restaurant in Oneida.

"People in our community that just came and donated. We had two car loads of clothes and jackets and stuff when we left. We had so much we had to call someone to come and help us take it out," Kris said.

They took it to Knoxville. Kaidance and her family passed out the donated items. Her hand made sign was a big hit: Free Hugs.

"She smiled the whole time. And when we got in the vehicle when she left she said that felt good didn't it daddy. And I said yes it did. I said it felt great," Kris said.

Another stack of donations is piling up in the foyer of their house in Scott County and Kaidance knows exactly what to do with it.

"One day I can go over there and get more clothes and bring them to them and get some pillows, some warm socks, and warm covers," she said.

Kris said, "It's refreshing to see an 8-year-old that has things like this on her mind other than playing and toys and stuff like that."

The 8-year-old already knows what she wants to be when she grows up.

"I'm going to be a veterinarian," she said.

Kaidance Lewallen is going to make her world a better place for people and for animals.

We want to showcase students who reach beyond their schools and families to help make our community better. To nominate a student, please send an email describing them and their community service to 10Hearts@wbir.com.

10 Rising Hearts

Before You Leave, Check This Out