Pay It Forward

Person of the Week 2/8: Hannah Gooding

FENNVILLE, Mich.,–  His story captured the nation and devastated the Fennville community.  Nearly two years after star basketball player Wes Leonard collapsed and died on the court, 8-year-old Hannah Gooding is working to prevent a similar tragedy by painting.

Since May, Hannah has created dozen of paintings to sell in order to raise money for the Wes Leonard Heart Team. Her initial goal was to raise enough to buy an automated external defibrillator, or AED.

“It’s like a thing if your heart stops, you like put it on yourself and it gives your heart a shock and stuff and it get it beating again,” Hannah told FOX 17. She added that she wanted to buy one “cause more people’s lives can be saved.”

With help from her mom, Hannah has been able to sell her pieces and take custom orders via her Facebook page, “Hannah’s HeART”. Her creations range in price from ten to $25 dollars.

Hannah has even created a special painting in memory of Leonard.

“I just wanted to do my hand prints and just write the number that he was,” she explained.

This December, the Wes Leonard Heart team recognized the ambitious young artist for all her hard work. And, earlier this month Hannah revealed that she’s raised just over $1,400 dollars.

The Wes Leonard Heart Team has told her family that money will go toward the purchase of an AED that will be placed in Zinser Elementary School in Grand Rapids.

Her mother said Hannah is now planning to raise enough money for a second AED.

“I’m very proud of her. I’m just so proud of her. I never though someone that young could go through with what she really wanted to do,” said Angie Gooding.

To learn more about Hannah’s HeART, click here.

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