Lexington Girl Collects Almost 200 Blankets for her Birthday

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- As we head into a rainy final weekend of winter break, advocates for the homeless in Lexington are scrambling to get together enough blankets and warm clothes for the people they care for, but volunteers are thankful for some help from a young woman who consistently puts the needs of others before her own material interests.

Maybe you remember Delaynie Chatting’s birthday mission to collect blankets and warm clothes for Lexington’s homeless. An ABC 36 report showing empty shelves at the Catholic Action Center’s store inspired Delaynie to start collecting. Delaynie sacrificed birthday gifts, instead receiving about 200 warm items for the homeless.

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“It’s kind of hard to believe I got that many,” Delaynie said.

She is proud and so is someone who knows the value of her gift. Before the holiday, ABC 36 showed Catholic Action Center Director Ginny Ramsey a picture of Delaynie’s growing pile of blankets.

“Oh my goodness, though! Look at that!” she reacted then. Now, the two meet as Delaynie and her family delivered and unloaded the donation.

“Thank you so much. Can I give you a hug?” Ramsey said, embracing Delaynie.

Ramsey says Catholic Action always struggles to find enough blankets for the more than 60,000 people in Lexington who live at or below the poverty level so Delaynie’s gift is overwhelming.

“It re-energizes me and it makes me realize that you know, Lexington, we can do this. We can make a difference in the lives of these folks…” Ramsey said.

“At that age, I was nowhere near any of that. I’m still nowhere near any of that and what i would like to be so she inspires me as well to want to be better and do better,” Holly Chatting, Delaynie’s Mom, said.

Delaynie’s tradition of giving blossomed three years ago when she collected over 600 shoes for kids in Ethiopia and Haiti instead of Christmas presents. What has her compassion taught her?

“To not be so selfish and think of others or do to others as you would want them to do to you,” Delaynie answered.

Others certainly think of Delaynie as a pint sized hero, learning life’s most important lessons earlier than most.

“You can help change our world, and I’ve got a feeling you’re going to,” Ramsey said to Delaynie.

The Chatting family says they will happily continue to accept donations for Catholic Action. If you would like to donate blankets, socks, scarves, hats, and gloves call 859-619-3072.

The Chattings say Delaynie will take part in Catholic Action’s Compassionate Caravan to directly distribute what she’s collected to the people who need the items. You can learn more about the Compassionate Caravan and Catholic Action on Facebook.

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!