Bold T-shirts express who Maddie is

By Tessa Johnstone

Carterton's Maddie Hume is pretty comfortable with who she is, and is proving it by wearing a different version of the same T-shirt every day for a year.

The 16-year-old started the "I Am" challenge in May, started by a group of young Aucklanders, a pledge to wear only T-shirts which say "I am Madeline" for a year.

Six months down, six to go.

Maddie said she has always been proud of who she is, and the challenge allows her to promote the idea of being who you want to be rather than a cookie-cutter shape which everyone expects.

"There's so much going on with popularity, and these people wanted to get rid of it all and say I'm not afraid to be me. It's going out and going with the flow, being ourselves and being unique."

She has 10 T-shirts and singlets of different colours to select from each day, all with "I am Madeline" in bold print, and her friend Emily Evers is also on board with the challenge.

The challenge is also about raising money.

Initially Maddie raised money for World Vision's 40-hour famine, but has now set in her sights on a $5000 fundraising goal to help build an orphanage in Nepal.

Maddie is supporting an organisation called Every Village, which is trying to raise $60,000 to build an orphanage for a minister, his wife and 21 orphans by the end of the year.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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