TAMPA (FOX 13) - A chance encounter leads to a grassroots effort to collect food for people in need.
It's called Project Sunshine and it's bringing brighter days to people who don't have enough to eat.
Jared Thayer is the soft-spoken 15-year-old behind Project Sunshine. He puts barrels in local businesses to collect food donations.
"It just fills my heart to know there is still happiness in the world," Jared said. "That I'm helping people in a small way, but in a great way."
A chance encounter with a child at a food bank motivated Jared to create Project Sunshine.
"That just filled my heart with sorrow and made me feel very sad, and I told my parents that I wanted to do something for that kid. I wanted to do something for everyone." Jared said.
Jared gathered more than 3,600 items in three years to give to area food banks.
"Pretty much something that is deep in my heart it makes me feel good, giving back to the community is just who I am. I love just making people happy and this is a way I can do that," Jared added.
A commitment to help others that inspires us all.