By Cindy Hsu

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A 5th grader from Morris Township, New Jersey is working hard to spread kindness throughout her community.

She’s doing it with thousands of flags of gratitude, CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported Friday.

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It started as a cub scout project: find a local hero to honor. But when the COVID lockdown made it too difficult, 11-year-old Callie Danysh expanded the project.

“So, I thought to myself why honor one hero when you can honor all of them,” Callie said.

She decided to thank all our frontline heroes by creating flags with drawings and inspirational messages.

Callie calls the project, “Flags of Gratitude.” She realized there are countless people who need a boost.

Callie has now created more than 2,000 flags for sanitation workers, firefighters and many in law enforcement.

Morris County Sheriff James Gannon expressed his appreciation.

“Keep up the good work, thank you very much. I salute you,” Gannon said.

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Callie also made flags in memory of 9/11 heroes and seniors at nursing homes.

“One person was actually crying. It was amazing to see that people were so happy to get this because I really wanted to make a difference,” said Callie.

She celebrates local restaurants, donating food to essential workers, and makes flags for small businesses.

“A lot of the local businesses were really struggling financially, so just by letting them know how much we care about them,” said Callie’s mom Andrea Danysh.

Callie then started raising money for local charities by selling framed pictures of the flags on Etsy. The proceeds go to non-profits.

So far, she’s raised thousands for groups that feed the community, help grieving families and support animal shelters.

This was her advice for other kids who are looking to make a difference:

“You can always do it by being unique, being creative and coming up with plans on how to show the community that they’re really amazing,” Callie said.

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Callie plans to keep making flags because she says there’s always someone to thank.

Cindy Hsu