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Macey Casagrande

Murietan Macey Casagrande faces the TV camera at the site of her coats giveaway for homeless people. Photo by Justin Hayduk. Click for larger image.

It started during last year’s holidays, when Macey Casagrande was shopping downtown with her mother and saw homeless people. She wanted to do something to help, and Saturday morning she did just that.

Before light Saturday, Macey, now 10, and her parents, Sean and Tammi Casagrande, were unloading donated coats under gray, rainy skies in an industrial area north of downtown Sacramento. They set up cover and racks and helped the homeless choose from among the 126 coats Macey had gathered.

Coats weren’t Macey’s original idea. “When I grow up,” she told her mother a year ago, “I’m going to open a hotel and a restaurant so homeless people will have a place to eat and a place to sleep.”

Her mom refocused the effort. Macey handed out cards at school about a coat drive, her mother contacted friends and her father passed the word at his workplace, Building Materials & Construction Solutions in Sacramento.

The result – more coats than would fit in one car. They loaded two cars Friday night. Homeless people were waiting for them when they arrived.

Casagrande family

Tammi, Sean and Macey Casagrande worked together on Macey's idea. Photo by Justin Hayduk. Click for larger image.

“They were the most amazing people I’ve ever experienced in my life,” said Tammi Casagrande, remarking on how grateful and nice everyone was to her daughter.

Macey also made her TV debut, as “Good Day Sacramento” was on hand to interview her and share the story.

On the way home later in the morning, coats all gone, Macey offered her own summary of the day, shared by her mother: “I feel better right now than on any A I’ve ever gotten on a test or any present I’ve ever gotten.”

They plan to do it again next year.

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