May’s Volunteer of the Month: Hadley Hoeft

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Hadley Hoeft is being taught the concepts of giving, saving and spending when it comes to money. Whether it is a gift she receives, loose change she finds or money she earns, Hadley divides it out
into these 3 categories: Give/ save/ spend.

You see, Hadley is 4 1/2 years old and wants to help others.

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As her Mom and Dad, one day we asked her what she wanted to do with her “give money.” She replied, “I want to buy healthy food for kids that don’t have any”. We said, “Ok, how can we do that?” Hadley said, “We can buy fruits and vegetables and pass them out at the food bank, not the money bank” (Previously we had toured a food bank and made a food drive donation last year).

Thinking there had to be a better way, we researched online what options were out there and found Growing Together Giving Garden. We presented it to her and she was all in! She was excited about the possibilities to be able to grow healthy food for kids.

We emailed Growing Together and they made it so easy and welcoming to Adopt-a-Bed this spring. A few weeks later, Hadley’s Harvest was born!

We explained that she would have to save up the money to have her own garden bed, so she decided she wanted to earn the money. We asked how she would earn it and she said, “I can set up a lemonade stand.” Knowing it took a little more resources, we explained to her how to ask for help to get the goods and supplies donated.

She made a list and requests for donation. The great people at Anthem Fry’s and Cave Creek Costco donated $15 and $25, respectively. We told her that 100% of the lemonade profits could go to the cause (We don’t know if she full grasps that concept, but it was a start). We gave her options of locations to set up the stand, what to sell and how much to sell. Hadley wanted to sell the little orange Cuties to provide a healthy option, and she did the rest (with support from us of course).hadley2

The morning came for the lemonade stand and she woke up bright and early – ready to go as we got
set up an hour earlier than planned. We raised $100 in 4.5 hours (Funny, because she just turned 4 1/2, which was our goal).

There was no way did we think we would raise the entire amount in one day! She didn’t want it to end and asked if we can do it again. We explain to her that she did met her goal, however, she said “but if I raise more I can give more.” So, we are in the planning stages of our next event.

Back at the garden, after planting tomatoes seedlings and squash seeds, we asked Hadley how it made her feel. She said, “My heart feels good, can we do it again?” She also learned about composting and added some to her bed to give it a vitamin boost. She thought Rocky, the Recycle Dog from Paw Patrol, would be proud of her.

I asked her what she likes about the garden. Hadley said, “I felt good because I was giving. I liked planting, digging and reusing horse poop (out of the mouths of babes) and I wanted kids who have
zero food to have healthy choices.”

As her parents, all we did was plant ideas for her to grow (pun intended). This was all her with a little
guidance from us. Hadley is the inspiration, and although we are biased, some would agree that she
is an amazing little girl with the biggest heart and a compassionate soul. We are here to support her
and help her make her dream a reality.

Hadley’s favorite vegetables are kale (our favorite salad is kale based) and broccoli. She loves her juice (spinach, apple, celery, carrots, freshly made in our juicer). Apples are her favorite fruit, although she has tried everything from dragon fruit to lychee.

She wants to be a veterinarian when she grows up, but said she wants to always have a garden at her house so she can have healthy food close by.

Recently Hadley overheard the pool construction workers talking about getting pizza for lunch and she ran inside and said, “Mommy we have to make them a healthy lunch instead of going for pizza.”

So we did!

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