COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Maryam Mohammed has loved helping people from a very young age, and now she’s truly reaching out consistently, one letter and one meal at a time.
"I'm not expecting anything in return for it. I just do it and expect nothing back,” said the 12-year-old.
Maryam started making notes when she was seven years old to hand out to area homeless in Colorado Springs. They turned into a project that included inspirational quotes, some of them original.
"Right now I’m writing, 'clouds can be anything, like you can do anything,’ because clouds go into many shapes and can be practically anything you imagine,” said Maryam.
“Little quotes and inspirational things. Maybe it will make their day. That's why I started doing them," she said.
Maryam’s notes also include watercolors; they’re almost like homemade greeting cards.
It’s been a fun project that quickly turned into a focused mission.
"I did these at home for fun at the beginning and then I got the idea, what if I started giving these to people so that's what I started doing,” said Maryam, who is a 6th grader at Watson Junior High.
But Maryam also decided there should be more to go with the notes. She encouraged her mom and dad to help her cook food. Together, the notes and homemade meals would both be hand-delivered by Maryam and their family to those who need it most.
"I love seeing the expressions on people's faces whenever I do it,” said Maryam.
She makes an effort to make deliveries several times a year. While she makes a routine stop near one of the local high schools, her biggest, most important stop, is in downtown Colorado Springs.
My heart is, like, big huge,” said Emad Mohammed, Maryam’s father.
“I feel something inside me … She has a mercy inside her heart, she tries to help people, even on the street,” he said.
Mohammed is thrilled to see his daughter have such compassion for others.
"As long as we live, we can keep doing that, help the people,” he said.
It’s certainly an inspirational mantra to live by, not unlike one of Maryam’s notes:
“Have a great day, and remember you are worth it.”
The Mohammed family came to the U.S. from Iraq as refugees more than a decade ago. Maryam is proud to have two older brothers who have served in the U.S. military. Mr. and Mrs. Mohammed now teach in Special Forces for the U.S. military.