Newton, NC – Six-year-old Sarah Yates, a little girl with a huge heart, celebrated her birthday on Saturday with a party in which she ultimately was the gift-giver, rather than the recipient. Sarah’s dream of a party where she collected much needed items to be passed on to area non-profit organizations came to fruition on February 22nd, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Hickory.

When asked about her party, Sarah said, “This is just like I planned it. It’s like a small seed turns into a big tree!” Sarah seems to have grasped the biblical concept from Acts 20:35, that ‘to give is better than to receive,’ at an age significantly younger than the average person. Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry (ECCCM) was one of five area organizations chosen to receive Sarah’s gifts. One of ECCCM’s own staff members, Audrey Wike, attended the celebration. Audrey said that stations were set up for each organization, labeled with the needs of that particular non-profit, so that when people came by, they knew how to sort their donations. Sarah collected 175 pounds of toiletries specifically for ECCCM.

Sarah was keeping herself busy speaking to party attendees and thanking them for coming and for their gifts. Cupcakes and drinks were served to the many guests in attendance. Special guest, Hickory Mayor Hank Guess presented Sarah with a key to the city, commenting that he had never before presented the key to a six-year-old!

We stand in amazement at the enormous size of your six-year-old heart, Sarah, and we thank you for the great deeds you have done!

ECCCM, a Catawba County United Way partner agency, provides assistance with mortgage/rent payments, utility bills, hunger relief, transportation, and financial coaching. ECCCM has extended “a hand up, not a hand out” to those in need in eastern Catawba County since 1969, never turning away a qualifying client.
Photo: Sarah Yates with her mom, Tabitha