Published: Dec 12, 2012 6:41 PM EST
Updated: Dec 12, 2012 6:43 PM EST

Cape Coral, Fla., Meet Mary Castillo, a 12-year-old girl with a heart of gold.

"When I was little, my parents would work with people and that kind of experience kind of got me to do it," says Mary Castillo.

The Saint Andrews Christian School student spends her free time helping homeless children.
 
"I want to make a difference so people can have what we have,"

For the Cape Coral Police Department, it was a no brain-er when they picked her as one of 13 people honored at the "Do The Right Thing" ceremony.

"Mary's nomination, when I got that on my desk, that was amazing to me, that a fifth grade student would put in so much effort helping younger children and homeless children at that," says Cindy Naumann, with the Cape Coral Police Department.

Mary's family has run a food pantry since 2005, a place where Mary meets children in need.
She cooks meals for them and prays with them.

"It gets me really touched, I really like them, I like helping them," says Castillo.

Her family's pantry is now closed-- but the Castillo's continue to serve the homeless on street corners.

"I sometimes pay for them so one day they can get what they want," says Castillo.

Mary's teacher says, she touches the heart of many and inspires others to simply "do the right thing"

"She's just a very special child, that has a lot of good gifts," says Deborah Shideler.