While the vast majority of kids might choose to spend their birthday money on sweets or toys, thoughtful nine-year-old Molly McGinley had something far more charitable in mind when it came to using hers.

The Manchester youngster received some spending money for her ninth birthday, but instead of buying anything for herself, she decided she wanted to use it to help others.

Molly was inspired to lend a helping hand to those less fortunate than herself after seeing charity workers assisting the city's rough sleepers.

So she took her money into town, using it to buy food and a coffee for homeless Margaret Smith.

Margaret, who has been sleeping rough for a year, thanked Molly for her kindness and wished her a merry Christmas.

Up until recently, she'd never dreamed she would end up homeless at Christmas, and had always hoped to become a singer when she grew older.

"I never ever thought I would find myself in this position", Margaret told Manchester Evening News. "All I ever wanted to do was sing. If I could have anything for Christmas, it would be my family."

The 23-year-old was made homeless following a divorce and had previously worked at John Lewis.

She often plays a piano on Deansgate in Manchester to entertain passers-by.

Molly first became aware of the harsh realities of life on the streets when she saw workers helping homeless people in Manchester.

She told the newspaper: "I was walking down the street and I saw all these people giving loads of food to homeless people. Also I heard a couple of people at school were doing it.

"So I asked my mum if I could do it and she said yes. So we got some hot drinks and soup and food and gave it to Margaret.

"I did it with my birthday money and I do think everybody should do something like that to help.

"It's sad in winter, it's really cold. Today my mum told me to get a coat and I didn't and now I'm freezing and I had to go and buy a hat but some people can't do that."

Meanwhile, a new crowdfunding website has been set up for helping homeless people to pay for job skills and training.

Beam is the brainwave of technology entrepreneur Alex Stephany, who wanted to help stop the growing problem of homelessness.

He told Sky News: "The question I asked originally was why can I not take a couple of pounds in my pocket and do something smarter and more long-term to help someone than just buying them a coffee.

"Crowdfunding has never really been used to its full potential to tackle homelessness as a problem and what we've built is a model that allows anyone to give responsibly to help a homeless person to leave homelessness for good."

Featured Image Credit: Manchester Evening News

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