8-year-old cheerleader gives up birthday gifts to help Haitian orphans

8-year-old cheerleader gives up birthday gifts to help Haitian orphans (Image 1)

Instead of birthday gifts, eight-year-old Jai Parker is celebrating the spirit of giving.

“I felt like I needed to needed to give something to them because everything was destroyed there,” Jai Parker told Nashville's News 2.

Images from Haiti on TV after a natural disaster inspired the cheerleader to start a service project, collecting toys for an orphanage in Haiti.

“She kept up with the storms and the things that were happening in Haiti and it really touched a soft spot in her heart,” said her mother Onya.

With help from her fellow cheerleaders, Jai collected 111 bags of toys for girls and boys.

“It makes me feel happy and like I've done something,” said Jai. “It feels really good because you know you made a good change to the world.”

For Jai, the joy of birthday presents was replaced by the satisfaction of giving and a valuable lesson in living.

“I learned that if I did something good, things will happen. If I do something good, then good things will return to me,” she told Nashville's News 2.

The presents will be delivered in November to the “My Father's House” orphanage in Haiti.

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