Teen spends birthday giving back to the homeless

Ekin Aygen is using her 17th birthday to give back to those living in Charlotte’s tent city.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Instead of planning a drive-by party to celebrate her birthday like most people this pandemic, Ekin Aygen is taking a different route.

“This is just the start of our relation with them,” Aygen said.

This Saturday, the 17-year-old and her friends are planning to pass out more than 50 boxes of pizza to feed those living in Charlotte’s tent city.

“We’re going to bring waters, ice teas and then we’re also going to bring gently used jackets and blankets and stuff,” Aygen said.

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 This is not the first time Aygen is giving back to the community.

“Heart -2- Heart started in 2018,” she said. 

Through her nonprofit, Heart -2- Heart, she also donates basic necessities to organizations like Children’s Hope Alliance in Barium Springs.

“They host children who have gone through domestic abuse and children who’ve had abusive parents,” Aygen said.

To her giving back is a small gesture.

 “I’m hoping to reach as many people as I can,” Aygen said.

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That’s why this weekend, even on her birthday, as she passes out slices of pizza, she hopes she brings at least a few smiles to those who may need it during this time the most.

“I think that, why do I need more on my birthday when I can give a piece of what I have to help others,” Aygen said.

And that alone is worth celebrating.

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