While most 13 year olds may have spent their summer immersed in the world of technology and friends, one local teenager made sure to devote time showing love to the least of these. Chris Reece tells us how in this week's Hughes and Coleman Hometown Hero
A trip to the store, a cart full of goodies, loading the car, and finally, home to prepare the food. Any parent recongizes this weekly task, but for a Bowling Green teenager, it's much more than grocery shopping, but feeding those in need.
"We are gathering all of the food," Ryan Depp said, "and organizing them into lunch bags. We help homeless people every saturday at the Warren County Public Library, and also afterwards we can go around the square or the city and hand out food as well."
Ryan Depp began his mission nearly a year ago on a simple wish...that things could be different
"I began this mostly as complaining about the homeless population," Depp said, "as in how many people are homeless and that it wasn't a good thing."
And after a few strings pulled by Ryan's dad, Shelly Adwell entered the picture.
"When I started this it was a life changing event," Adwell said, "and I know it has been life changing for Ryan."
After giving a jump start to connecting Ryan with those in need, Shelly says that he is now what keeps her motivated.
"It is inspiration to me," Adwell said. "He is my inspiration. I feel like he has blessed me, because it feels good to be able to help someone to get on their journey, and what they want to do. He's got a long ways to go. He's 13 and a half years old. I hope that he continues this. What a difference he's going to make and all those peoples' lives."
Over the months Ryan has volunteered, fired up the grill, and created a facebook page for those who'd like to help in his journey, but his desire to serve has become a way of healing from his own battle with depression.
"It's a theraputic method to be able to ignore your problems," Depp said, "and when you really help other people who are going through the same thing, especially people my age and people who I interact with like at the homeless places like the library, then it kind of makes you feel better because then you know that it's not just you that's going through this. Also, it makes you happy that you can help other people."
For finding the strength, and the compassion, to use a time of darkness to shine a light for others, we honor Ryan Depp as our Hughes and Coleman, Hometown Hero.
If you'd like to help Ryan's mission, he has requested gift card and monetary donations to go towards purchasing more food for those in need. Additonal information can be found on Facebook on the Ryan's Making a Difference Outreach page, which has been linked below this story.