MADISON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - There may be a lot of things that Mississippi "isn't". But one thing that we ARE, we are the "most generous state in the nation."
Generosity is a part of what makes Mississippi Strong. And that spirit of generosity starts early in life, too. Especially when it is nourished by encouraging parents.
Fourth-grader Tucker Gladden and his sister, 2nd grader Macy, are partners in many enterprises, including their lemonade stand, from which they earned enough money to start taking violin lessons.
"I've always wanted a violin since, like three months ago," said Tucker.
Another endeavor Tucker and Macy are heading up is the Provision Project to help the homeless. Mom Whitney Gladden tells us this was their idea.
"The Provision Project was started by Tucker and Macy themselves and they have a Facebook page and everything," said Whitney. "But they came up with a way to help the homeless people of Jackson, Mississippi, by collecting donations from people and bringing it themselves to We Will Go Ministries.
"We are collecting sunscreen, towels, water, some stuff that my mom knows about," added Tucker.
Well, they need pretty much anything someone could use, especially in the summer months; soap, deodorant, stuff like that. It's one thing to see a homeless person and hope he doesn't come up to your car at the red light. It's something else entirely to start an ongoing project to help.
"We just saw a homeless person on the street and I just came up with the idea, Hey! I want to help homeless people 'cause they look so sad and don't have anything to eat or do," said Tucker. "So I decided to convince Mama to start the provision project and since then we had this one guy in Hattiesburg send us a palate of water, a whole pallet of water. And I just want to thank whoever he is."
Tucker never meets a stranger and he intends to run for President in 2044 when he's old enough to qualify for the office. He is full of energy.
"It has been a lot of fun raising a future President of the United States. And what we do with Tucker is just keep a close eye on him. We never want to crush his spirit," added Whitney. "We never want to break that habit of talking to new people and getting to know them. I know a lot of parents teach Stranger Danger and we definitely teach that. But we don't stop him from speaking to anybody whether they're the CEO of a corporation or whether they're somebody asking for change on the street. We want him to have that helpful heart. And we want him to have that outgoing heart he does and it shines."
And that is a huge part of all of us living Mississippi Strong, having that outgoing, helpful heart. Go to their Facebook page to find out how you can donate. It is "The Provision Project." And remember to vote for Tucker Gladden in 2044.