Gary W. and Olivia M. Mull Advised Fund

Gary and Olivia Mull have always been community-minded people, so it’s no surprise that they have instilled that same passion for giving back in their two children - especially their youngest, Bradley.

From an early age, 14-year-old Bradley remembers tagging along with his parents to serve lunch at church, donate food to the less fortunate and collect items for the homeless.

“Not everyone’s path is easy,” said Olivia. “We try to instill that in Bradley.”

Gary added, “We want to expose him to community needs.”

Gary got involved with Community Harvest, a food rescue program in Stark County, and later served on its board of directors as president. It was through Community Harvest that he learned about Hope Outreach Ministries, a faith-based organization in Canton that provides food, clothing and fellowship for those in need.

When volunteering one day at Hope Outreach Ministries, Bradley eagerly asked Pastor Marilyn Roman if there was anything he could do to help. She asked him if he thought he could collect 12-15 blankets for people in need. Being the confident kid he is, he optimistically said he could collect 50.

Bradley quickly exceeded expectations with Bradley’s Blanket Brigade. He collected 50 blankets, which then grew to 100 and later 200, and has now collected over 1,000 blankets to date. Bradley went door to door in area neighborhoods explaining what he was collecting and why people should get involved. He also spread the word by giving presentations to area organizations including Community Harvest, churches and school districts.

When asked to explain Hope Outreach Ministries, he said “It’s a place where they collect anything to help anyone. You can donate pillows, blankets, clothes, toys — anything that will help anyone.”

In addition to blankets, Bradley has collected comforters, coats, boots, hats, mittens, stuffed animals and more for underserved children and families.

The Mulls not only give their time to the community, they also give their hard-earned money to organizations important to their family through the Gary W. and Olivia M. Mull Advised Fund at Stark Community Foundation. Created in 2013, they have generously awarded over $45,000 in support of families in need, hunger relief efforts, education and arts and culture programs.

It is clear that Bradley will continue to embody their commitment to give back. “I like helping people in general,” he said. “When they feel good, I feel good.”

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