Six-year-old Luke Shaull was so affected by images of Hurricane Sandy's devastation that all he could do was bury his face in a couch pillow and cry. But once his tears subsided, Luke's grief transformed into motivation and the first-grader decided to take action. With a shoebox, some art supplies, and the generosity of family, neighbors and his congregation, the young member of St. John's United Church of Christ in Red Lion, PA, has raised nearly $1,300 for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.
"The whole driving force was completely him," said Lee Shaull, the church's music director, of his son's idea. "He is so genuine and has such a heart of gold. He just wants everyone to be happy."
Luke was initially inspired by the Hurricane Sandy telethon, which aired Nov. 2, 2012 on NBC. By the time he went to bed that night, he had a shoebox decorated and ready to go, with a hole cut out of the lid for the money to go into. He asked his grandparents for donations the next day, and told his dad that he would like to take the box to church on Sunday. After a conversation with the church pastor and the mission and outreach committee chair, it was decided that Luke's idea was a perfect way for St. John's UCC to get involved in the storm's relief efforts.