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Carroll County Times: Little Free Pantry creator Makenzie Greenwood recognized for charitable work

For Makenzie Greenwood, the last six months have been a whirlwind.

Just this past May, the 10-year-old opened a Little Free Pantry at St. John's United Methodist Church on Main Street in Hampstead, and in the time that’s followed, things have grown. The idea stemmed from that of the Little Free Libraries, which are tiny take-a-book, leave-a-book constructions.

“It’s been a huge success,” Jennifer Greenwood, Makenzie’s mom, said Thursday, and it’s a success that keeps getting recognized.

Thursday, Makenzie was presented with the 2017 William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award for Carroll County — her third award in regard to the pantry. Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot presented her with the award as he made his way through the northern part of Carroll County.

Makenzie is the youngest person to receive the award, Franchot said at a small ceremony inside St. John’s United Methodist Church.

“I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award than you,” he told her.

Greenwood said she wasn’t surprised when her daughter wanted to do something to help others.

“She’s always been very empathetic and caring,” she said.

But it’s impressive that she’s continued to follow through so much, she added. Greenwood said her daughter is at the pantry several times a week to make sure it’s stocked, and there have been a lot of participants, either donating or using the services.

It’s been accessed over 700 times, and about 350 have been people taking food, she said. People have reached out to the family to thank them for having this as an option, she added.

“It’s been a huge success,” Greenwood said. “It’s taught her the importance of helping other people.”

Makenzie said things with the pantry have been going really well so far, and it feels good to be recognized. She wanted to try to give back and help her community, because the community has done a lot for her. And, she said, it’s been a lot of fun.

It’s important to help others, she added, because some people might be going through a hard time and need assistance.

“It kind of lightens the load,” she added.

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