FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Natalia Kleinrichert isn’t your typical 13-year-old girl. Sure, she enjoys playing softball, watching her favorite shows, doing art, and spending time with the family dogs.

But the 8th grader at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School has another passion that runs deep, and it’s one that sets her apart from many other young teenagers.

“It’s always bothered me that people are out on the streets and people just walk by them like they’re nothing,” she said. “Everyone deserves to be loved, no matter what you have or don’t have.”

Natalia, 13, has a passion for the helping the homeless

Natalia has always shown a love for the homeless and a desire to help those in need.

“Even as a toddler when Toys for Tots was at Meijer, she wanted to go buy stuff right then and put it in the box for them,” said Amy Kleinrichert, Natalia’s mother. “She just has that big heart.”

Amy Kleinrichert says in 2nd grade, Natalia spearheaded a fundraising drive amongst her friends to collect money for the homeless, and they raised a couple hundred dollars.

Then in 2019, instead of asking for birthday gifts, Natalia asked for donations that would go to the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission and the Charis House. At the time she was also a girl scout, and when she was selling boxes of cookies, she would ask customers if they wanted to buy an extra box to donate to the homeless.

Natalia ended up dropping off bags of donations and hundreds of boxes of cookies for those in need.

“Some of the people who were actually going there were pretty excited and thankful that I brought all that stuff,” said Natalia.

Her work has only continued to grow from there.

“I wanted to start doing more for the homeless so a few years ago I started brainstorming a name for all of it and we came up with R.E.A.C.H.,” she said. “That’s when it all started and we started making the bracelets.”

R.E.A.C.H stands for Reach Everyone Always with a Caring Heart.

Natalia and Amy designed the colorful bracelets that Natalia has sold online, at school, church and craft fairs.

She has far surpassed her goal of raising $1,000 dollars – in fact, she has nearly tripled that amount raising $2,901 to date.

“Some of it we’re going to use to get things that homeless people need right now like hats gloves and scarves, but most we’re going to donate to the Rescue Mission and Charis house,” said Natalia.

“It’s really who she is, she’s always wanting to give and buy things for people or if she knows someone is struggling,” said Amy, who hopes Natalia’s work will inspire kids and adults alike to give back. “We’ve become a society that’s not connecting anymore – I think Covid’s been a big part of that – instead of connecting we’re disconnecting, and this is important to reach out again and that kind of fits with the bracelets.”

Natalia hopes to one day start her own non-profit dedicated to helping the homeless. Her dream is to build mini houses for the homeless population.

If you’d like to support R.E.A.C.H. the Homeless click HERE.