By Sgt. 1st Class Stacy Niles, 214th Fires BrigadeDecember 11, 2008
There are at least two times a year when children are asked the all important "what do you want" question at their birthday and at Christmas.
For 9-year-old Haley Moore those two dates are less than a week apart, and she said all of the toys make her feel a little overwhelmed.
So, this year for her birthday the daughter of Sgt. John Moore, the training NCO for 696th Forward Support Company, will donate the toys she will receive at her birthday party Sunday to the children at the J. Roy Dunning Children's Shelter, Inc. in Lawton.
"I get a lot of toys (for Christmas and my birthday)," said Haley. "I want to help people who can't afford toys or can't get them right now.
"People should think of other kids as their own kid and buy them a toy for Christmas," said Haley.
Haley said she hopes people are inspired by her efforts to help other charities and eventually this spirit of giving would spread throughout the county and people would start giving all year long.
Locally, Haley's wish is coming true with Haley's Holiday Hope toy drive today at the Lawton YMCA.
"She wants kids to bring an unwrapped toy to donate to children who would otherwise do without," said Haley's father. "She wants to make sure that someone who wouldn't get a present gets one this year."
The toy drive is the first of its kind to be held for the J. Roy Dunning Children's Shelter by someone as young as Haley, said Theresa Alf, assistant director of the shelter.
"What a wonderful, compassionate little girl," said Alf. "Children do things for the shelter all the time, but not to this extent. Not the whole birthday thing. We see kids every day, but rarely do they do something like this to touch us. We are tickled pink. This is absolutely marvelous."
"Haley's always had compassion for people and animals," said Moore of the aspiring zoologist. "This makes me feel like I did something right in raising her.
"I'm very proud of her selfless attitude in putting others first instead of herself," he said.
As of Dec. 15, more than $4,000 has been raised for the Children's Shelter.