It’s often been said that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.
In the case of Haley Schorsten that couldn’t ring more true.
The seven-year-old girl, with an infectious smile and only the innocence a child could have, had a birthday party. But it wasn’t the typical birthday celebration. Haley decided to ask her guest, all 25 of them, to bring canned food items to donate to the Center of Hope’s location in East Parker County.
Haley’s mom, Kristin, said she had been reading where some kids, that have been on free or reduced breakfast and lunch during school, may only get one meal during the summer. That didn’t set well with the mother of two.
“That got me to thinking of Haley,” Kristin said. “She is getting at the age where I think she can start doing some things - service projects around town.”
So Center of Hope was located just down the road from where the family lived, Kristin said she passed by it on a number of occasions during the course of the day.
So she began to explain what they did and [Haley] became curious.
“It’s like a little shopping place,” Haley said enthusiastically.
So Kristin continued to talk to Haley - to see what she thought.
“I explained to her that some of the kids she goes to school with may not get two meals a day,” Kristin said. “I began thinking that her birthday was coming up and thought what a great opportunity.”
She said she wasn’t sure Haley would be on board for it, but after explaining it to her, there was no hesitation.
The best part was going there, it just all clicked,” Kristin said. “She got to see the facility, that it was like a store and that if we bring food it gets stacked on the shelves to help others.”
After a tour of the building Haley noticed a “party bag” for a child - only one remained. A party bag is for a child’s birthday. It may contain a box of cake mix, frosting, candles, party plates and cups.
“That’s what we’re going to do for my half birthday,” Haley exclaimed. “We’re going to give party bags.”
During the visit Kristin said one woman, who was there shopping, overheard them talking.
“She was crying and asked if she could give Haley a hug.” Kristin said. “I heard her whisper to Haley, ‘our God will bless you for this kind deed Haley.’”
Paula Robinson, Executive Director for the Center of Hope, said it is amazing to be part of a ministry that touches people from all different walks of life.
“From someone in need to a child with a heart to help, a parent with a heart to teach, a volunteer with a heart to serve, a donor with a heart to give – the list goes on and on; all working together and helping in ways they can,” Robinson said. “And how awesome, that a child has been taught the blessing of giving and is willing to share her special day with someone who needs a hand up.”
Kristin said the entire experience was great for Haley and it really sunk in with her.
“I need to be doing this a lot more,” Kristin said. To have this in your heart - it’s something special, something to build on.
Lance Winter, 817-594-9902, Ext. 102