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The McLean family is the September winner of the Chick-fil-A Everyday Heroes award

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Posted at 5:00 AM, Sep 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-25 08:20:38-04

CATONSVILLE, Md. — One question that will stump the McLean family is how many charities and organizations are they involved with.

"I had a list going, I think I had like 50 or 55 groups," said mom Angie McLean.

"No way, it can't be that many!" said father Chuck McLean.

"Well if we're doing everything in total!" Angie said.

It's certainly not a bad problem to have and shows just how important community service is to Chuck, Angie and their daughters Gabbi and Maddi.

"It’s like stepping outside of yourself and looking out for others, but it also feels so good to give back and it's rewarding to do it alongside the people you care about," said Maddi.

"[The girls] seize on the importance of service and giving back, and I think it’s important to do it together because you’re showing support for one another," said Chuck.

Over the years, the McLeans have donated their time and money to a number of charities. Just a few examples are fostering dogs through Small Miracles Cat and Dog Rescue, holding dinner and movie nights at A Night of Peace shelter and handing out food with Love the Hopeful.

Just in the last few months, they've done small projects to give back to healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients and participated in national movements like Black Lives Matter rallies.

One of the charities that is near and dear to their hearts is The Children's Home in Catonsville.

"Every one of the children there will say to us, this is home and this is finally a place where they feel loved," said Angie.

The Children's Home serves kids ages 13-20 who are in the foster care system. The McLeans have done numerous outings with the kids, organized special events on campus and always celebrate the holidays with them.

"Over the years, they’ve come in for almost every holiday starting with Valentine’s Day," said Andre Cooper, the CEO of the Children's Home. "We get love bags from them every year for our kids. There could be 50 to 60 kids here and they make sure our kids are taken care of on the holidays."

"They’re a very spiritual family. They just love giving, it’s no price to what they do, no limit to what they do," said Lena Cromwell, a childcare specialist at the Children's Home. "They’re just a giving caring family. I love them."

Whether it's a small project like a love bag or a big project like a fundraiser, one thing for certain is the McLeans will give it their absolute all to whatever cause they're supporting. And in the process of giving back, they're teaching and inspiring each other, and those around them, to be better and do better.

"It has inspired me, both of my parents, how dedicated they are to the community. So doing these events definitely brings us closer and also give us the greater appreciation for everything that we do have," said Gabbi.

"It is not what you say, it is what you do when you are raising your children," said Angie. "They are watching how you treat other people, they are watching what you choose to read and how you spend your time, and more importantly, how you save and cherish others and respect others."

Not all heroes wear capes. Sometimes they just roll up their sleeves and make good things happen.

"We really appreciate them. They are truly heroes to us," said Cooper.

To nominate a family for the Chick-fil-A Everyday Heroes award, click here.