East Tennessee girl’s birthday wish: Blanket donations for homeless


ROCKY TOP, Tenn. (WATE) – A six-year-old East Tennessee girl wants one thing for her birthday this year – to collect blankets for the homeless.

Kenzie Ridenour turns seven at the end of the month and her parents say her biggest wish for her birthday is for people to bring blankets to her birthday party so she can pass them out to the homeless as winter gets closer.

Kenzie’s father, Dustin Ridenour, said his son and daughter saw a homeless person under a bridge near their house and started asking questions about what the less fortunate do when it gets cold outside.

“Kenzie told us, ‘Mommy, Daddy, I want people who come to my birthday party to bring some old blankets for the homeless so I can hand them out,’” Ridenour said.

“It was really on her heart for several days. She came to us probably two days later and asked if she could make her birthday a special one and ask for blankets for the homeless,” said her mother Haley Ridenhour.

“I was thinking about why they were under the bridge. And we should like, really get some blankets for them because it was a very cold night,” said Kenzie.

The trailer is already getting full, but Kenzie says she has a goal of 2,000 blankets.

When she’s not collecting blankets, Kenzie enjoys cheerleading at her elementary school and takes great pride in cheering on her brother’s football team.

Her father said she also loves being around her family. Her grandmother, Kim Haun, added that Kenzie also loves hunting.

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