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PRATTVILLE, AL (WSFA) -
It started when a Catholic priest drew a vivid picture one day in Mass of what was happening in Haiti; starving children, a country still torn asunder by the earthquake three years ago.
And sitting in the congregation that day with her mom was Hannah Huston of Prattville.
"She was visibly moved. I told her I wish we could all do more," said Hannah's mom Dorothy Huston.
But Hannah wouldn't let it go.
"I felt sad for the people," she said.
And then the bombshell. Hannah called a family meeting at the dinner table to talk about her 9th birthday coming up on January 7th.
"She sat down and said, 'I don't want any gifts. I have everything I needed from Christmas. I want to help others,' Dorothy Huston said.
'Others' as in the poor children in Haiti. So the Hustons scribbled up a plan. They invited Hannah's friends such as Aliyah to come to the birthday party last month with one stipulation; no gifts but bring a monetary donation to be sent to the Food for the Poor organization.
"A day that was supposed to be all about her.. she took it and helped others," Mrs. Huston said.
And did she ever. Hannah and her little friends raised $85.
"I really felt good giving the money," said Hannah.
85 dollars that will do wonders for a Haitian who has virtually nothing from clean running water to food.
Hannan plans to do the same thing next year for her 10th birthday with eyes toward a different organization.
"I probably will," she said.
Dorothy Huston always knew her child had a kind heart but never expected this at such a young age.
"It has really inspired me to do something for my birthday," said Huston.
Inspired by a youngster who's learned the art of giving.
The family says after word got out of what Hannah did for her 9th birthday they got even more donations, raising the total to $175 for the Food for the Poor organization.