A Red Paperclip, a Toy Soldier, and a Nine Year Old Heart Full of Grace

Brendan Haas photo from ABC news.

Everybody can be great… because anybody can serve.You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Melissa and Eric Haas have instilled in their children that desire to serve others. Their nine year old son, Brendan heard the story of the red paper clip  from his father about Kyle McDonald completing 14 trades in a year, starting with a paperclip for larger things, until he got a house. That inspired Brendan to try and barter his way to doing something for someone else.

ABC News reported, in February, Brendan set up a Facebook page called “A Soldier for a Soldier,” hoping that he could trade his toy soldier for a trip to Disney World to give to a fallen soldier’s family. “I just think they do something good, so I wanted to do something good back,” Brendan said of his toys and their real life counterparts. Brendan accomplished his goal, and gifted a trip to the family of 1st Lt. Timothy Steele killed in Afghanistan.

To reward Brendan for his generosity, the Disney Company, the parent company of ABC, awarded Brendan’s family with an all-expense paid trip of their own, and made Brendan an “honorary citizen of Walt Disney World.”

This amazing young man turned down his own Disney trip saying, “We can’t accept a trip to Disney but we have many more people who would like to have an all-expenses paid [trip] …so we can do another raffle.”

Brendan commented that he was a messenger from God and was happy to make others happy. Thank you Brendan for showing the world that anybody can serve. You are a wonderful example for all of us. We know for certain that you have a soul generated by love.