INDIAN TRAIL – When 9-year-old Mahkaylah Hindman sees a need, she doesn’t sit back and ignore it.
The Covenant Day School fourth-grader is a true believer in “actions speak louder than words,” and it’s her actions that are making a difference in her own community.
From selling old toys to helping raise money for a local animal rescue or children in need, or selling handmade bracelets so kids like her can have adequate school supplies, Mahkaylah’s love for helping others has no end.
“I just really like helping people because it makes my heart full because I’m doing great things,” Mahkaylah said. “It just makes me want to spread it out to other people.”
Mahkaylah’s mission started nearly a year ago when she heard about a need for money at the Indian Trail Animal Hospital to help cover medical costs in the center’s rescue program. Soon after, she read an article about Kilah Davenport, a local toddler who was severely injured after her stepfather allegedly beat her, causing a broken clavicle, fractured skull and damage to 90 percent of her brain.
Mahkaylah had to find a way to help.
She viewed her options, pulled her resources and dug through closets and drawers to host a yard sale at her Colton Ridge neighborhood home in Indian Trail. She raised $90 her first go around, donating $45 to animals in need and $45 to Kilah.
But that was just the start. Mahkaylah and her mom, Julianne, like to frequent Gingy Gems, a thrift store, marketplace and pet boutique in Stallings that sells a hodgepodge of items – many by local artists and vendors.
“The way it started was she wanted to sell things at the store,” Julianne Hindman said, adding Mahkaylah learned to make bracelets, hair bows, purses and wallets out of duct tape by watching YouTube videos. After talking to the store’s owner, Patti Cowan, who encouraged Mahkaylah to donate part of her proceeds to an organization in need, Mahkaylah researched A Child’s Place, a local nonprofit that works to erase the impact of homelessness on children and their education.
“Mahkaylah came home, and I pulled up the organization online for her to check it out. She said, ‘I could help some kids out,’” Julianne Hindman said.
So she launched Shine Designs, her own duct tape business based out of Gingy Gems, where she donates 20 percent of proceeds to A Child’s Place. So far, she’s earned about $20, Mahkaylah said, though she hasn’t checked in awhile.
But Mahkaylah wanted to do more. While donating a portion of sales to A Child’s Place is an ongoing effort, she wanted to do something through the summer to help out students, hosting another yard sale – this time with all proceeds benefiting homeless children throughout Charlotte. She hosted the sale earlier in the summer, making $144 for the cause.
“She is quite the sales person,” Julianne Hindman said. “She’s the one who really got it going and started moving with it. And she’s already talking about hosting another.
“It’s very humbling to see someone that tiny do something so big. Through adult eyes, we see tough situations, but we just move on. A lot of times, she challenges both myself and my husband Brent to do more, too.”
And having a clean garage and closets is nice too, Julianne Hindman laughed.
For Mahkaylah, she just wants to continue to do more good in the world, all while balancing her business and a new school year at a new school. Last year, she attended Providence Spring Elementary School in south Charlotte. She hopes to host another yard sale this fall, where she’ll either give proceeds to A Child’s Place or the animal rescue.
Working on her business is fun, Mahkaylah said, but the yard sales can be a lot of work. But it’s something worth working for, she added.
“I’ve inspired myself,” she said, “that I can just do more things with my life than just sit around and do nothing. … I just think about some of those people that don’t have what we have today, and I thought it would be nice to give back to them.”
Check out Mahkaylah’s duct tape line at Gingy Gems, located at 3733 Pleasant Plains Road in Stallings.