Local third grader raises funds for damaged library
When Plum Creek Elementary third grader Hayden Rich set out to help a library in need over the summer, he’d never dreamt he’d end up on the 50-yard line of Lions Stadium, standing under the bright, shining lights, hearing the roars of hundreds of screaming fans.
On Friday night, that’s exactly where he was.
Hayden was honored prior to the halftime show of the Lions’ 35-0 rout over the Taylor Ducks after he spent a significant portion of his summer break raising more than $700 for a library in Port Aransas that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
According Hayden’s grandmother Kim Bagwell, her grandson got the idea to help after he realized the kids in the community didn’t have a library to check out his most precious commodity: books.
“He loves to read,” said Bagwell. “He always has. He read more than 1,000,000 words over the last school year.”
Hayden, whose favorite book is “Big Nate,” said he wanted to help because it made him feel bad knowing the other kids in the area might not have any books to read.
“We used to use the library a lot over the summer, but this year we weren’t able to,” said Bagwell. “When he found out the library still wasn’t open, he decided to take action of his own.”
According to Bagwell, the pair decided the best way to raise money to donate to the library would be to create a lemonade stand. They fittingly named it “Hayden-aid.” So, they bought their lemons and they bought their sugar and they squeezed out all the fresh lemonade they could produce.
And it worked. The money started to pour in. In one case, somebody even paid $100 for a pitcher of Hayden’s refreshing beverage.
Even during the evenings, after the lemonade stand was closed, Hayden would sometimes ride around with his grandmother on their golf cart squeezing a honking rubber chicken while yelling, “Lemonade, lemonade!”
In a little more than two weeks, Hayden had raised roughly $715 to donate to the library.
“It felt really good,” Hayden said.
“He’s always been very giving and very helpful,” said Bagwell. “Anytime we go to a restaurant or HEB or wherever, he always wants to hold the door for people. We do our seven mindsets here at school and one of the mindsets is “live to give,” and that’s a lot of what we talk about – going out of your way to help people.”
In the future, Hayden said he planned on making more lemonade stands and finding other ways he could help out in his community. When he grows up, Hayden said he wanted to be a police officer, because, you guessed it, he wanted to help people.