CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Have you ever had an idea to do something that others kept telling you were impossible? Hunter Amidon had the idea to give pillows to every elderly and homeless person in McHenry County.
But how? Hunter has autism, and it would take hundreds of pillows. So, who would make them? How could hunter pay for the materials? Hunter’s story is best told by Hunter himself.
"It all started like this," he said.
"In school through his life skills class, he was learning how to sew and making pillow cases," Hunter’s mom said.
"Inspiration struck!" Hunter said.
Mom added, "He came to me and said mom, I want to make pillows for the homeless, I said What!?"
"So that they can feel a hug in their heart," Hunter responded.
"He said Mom, either you will help me, or I'll find someone who will," mom said.
And with that, Hunter was on the hunt.
The 8th grader at Lundahl Middle School in Crystal Lake reached out to anyone who would listen: the principal, people in town, other students, and his best friend Katie Hamm.
"I thought it was crazy! I wasn't sure how he was going to do it,” Katie said.
Hunter and Katie made flyers asking for volunteers, and the responses were overwhelming. Soon, a classroom at Lundahl was turned into a pillow making factory. Hunter’s dream of passing out pillows to those in need was coming true.
To date, Hunter has passed out over 200 pillows to nursing homes, homeless shelters, and each one has a message: 'Hugs from Hunter.'
Mother Patricia says since joining the schools ‘Aspire’ program 3 years ago, Hunter has blossomed, learning life skills and making friends, like Katie.
"He makes you laugh, whatever he says it makes you crack up!" Katie said.
"She's like super important to me," Hunter said about Katie.
"She has a way of reaching him. That's all it is…being kind to somebody but a difference it can make in their life,” mom said.
And now, Hunter is making a difference in other people's lives, one pillow at a time.
"We will keep making pillows, we will find them a home to someone who needs a little hug," Hunter said.