CHICAGO – While most of Chicago bundles up and stays inside, Jolynn Payton unloads and unpacks outside.
On frigid winter days, Payton goes out to help those who have nowhere else to go.
“It’s just, it’s cold outside. It’s hard for me to sleep sometime knowing I’m a warm house and they have to live outside in tents,” she said.
She always comes prepared with hand-made bags filled with essentials; Blankets, hats, gloves, scarves, toiletries, food and boxes of candy.
“We keep them warm and we’re just spreading a little love for them,” Payton said.
Payton has made thousands of these bags with the organization she founded- Little Fannies Heavenly Housing.
And she does so much more.
“We’re serving, we deal with group homes, low-income buildings, at Christmastime, we adopt a whole building, feed them, buy Christmas gifts for all the children, we have clothing drives, just a multitude. Wherever the need is, if someone said they need some help, we’re there to help them,” she said.
That’s why when her granddaughter Jessica Stewart heard about the Remarkable Woman Award, she knew she had to nominate Payton.
“She just wants to help everyone and I just love that about her, she’s just such an amazing person,” Stewart said.
Payton has made Little Fannie’s her life’s purpose.
“Before I started this, Little Fannie’s, Little Fannie is my grandma, that’s where the name comes from and she used to help everybody. So what happened was everybody started calling me Little Fannie,” Payton said.
And now she’s passing it on to another generation.
“Just knowing I have a grandmother with such a good heart who’s just really compassionate about other people, that showed me to be like that,” she said.
We’ll have our final remarkable women finalist next Tuesday.
The winner will be revealed in April.