Birthday boy does his part to assist homeless people

8-year-old skips toys, asks for items that can help people less fortunate

Posted 1/3/17

Merrick Hawes asked for items like hats and gloves for his eighth birthday, then gave the presents he received to some homeless individuals in Englewood.

The Littleton-area boy’s birthday was Dec. 15. Those invited to his birthday party were …

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Birthday boy does his part to assist homeless people

8-year-old skips toys, asks for items that can help people less fortunate

Posted

Merrick Howes asked for items like hats and gloves for his eighth birthday, then gave the presents he received to some homeless individuals in Englewood.

The Littleton-area boy’s birthday was Dec. 15. Those invited to his birthday party were asked not to give toys, but to give him items homeless individuals would need, such as blankets and scarves. On Christmas Eve, Merrick and his family went to the homeless outreach Giving Heart Englewood to help serve dinner, and so the boy could donate his birthday presents to homeless individuals.

“I felt excited because I like to help people,” the boy said Dec. 28. “It was fun serving dinner and getting to meet people who would get the gifts we brought.”

He said one meeting was special, as a young man needed a blanket and Merrick had one to give him.

“His name was DJ and he was very happy to have a new blanket,” the Douglas County STEM Charter School student said. “He thanked me and now he is my friend.”

Audrey Howes, Merrick’s mother, said that a couple years ago she and her husband decided their kids were blessed, had a house full of toys and stuff, and they didn’t want their children to get more toys and similar items as birthday presents.

“We asked our two children if they would be willing to collect items that could be donated to the homeless,” she said. “They both agreed. The first year, Merrick took the items he collected to the Denver Rescue Mission, but we wanted something closer to home, found Giving Heart Englewood and went there this year.”

Howes said Giving Heart Englewood was smaller and it was there to help homeless people in their area of town. She said the Englewood program was small enough to allow both the children to help serve dinner, as Merrick’s sister gave the guests their rolls and Merrick gave each guest pats of butter to go on the rolls.

Audrey Howes said her daughter Kinsley is 5 and also collects items for the homeless. Her birthday is in the summer and this year, she collected diapers for teen mothers.

“I am so happy the children made the choice about their birthday presents,” Howes said. “It is a family thing now and it is now a family tradition.”

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