Lia and members from the Hopeful Hearts Club held an Easter egg hunt and ice cream social at Hope House.
We would like to thank Holy Family Memorial for the donation of several beds they recently donated.
Please check out Lia Haile, the creator of the Hopeful Hearts Club, in this amazing video. Lia has touched the hearts of many and keeps amazing us with her love for others and generosity. She is an amazing young woman and we are honored to work with her!!! Thank you, Lia, for taking us on this wonderful journey with you and for all the wonderful things you do and have done for Hope House of Manitowoc County!
Area girl throwing birthday parties at homeless shelter
BY MICHELLE MELBY, FOX 11 NEWS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 15TH 2015
MANITOWOC — The Hope House of Manitowoc County is a homeless shelter, that has a special place in the heart of a special area girl.
“I really want to make a difference for people in the community. I want them to be more aware of homeless. And I want them to see that, ‘oh, if she can do it, then I should be able to do it too,'” said Lia Haile, Manitowoc.
Lia Haile is just 12 years old and is basically the party planner for the shelter. She throws birthday, tailgate, and even Halloween parties.
It started, when she met a young boy at the shelter, who wasn’t able to celebrate his birthday.
“And that got me to wonder, ‘Why? This is this kid’s birthday. He deserves a birthday party.’ I went home and I thought about it, and the idea came to give him a birthday party, with cake and balloons. Then it just kind of spread out from there,” said Lia Haile.
What spread was this pre-teens incredible ability to give back.
Since that first party, Lia has made sure every child at the shelter gets a special day.
“We had the birthday party for the little boy. And I wasn’t sure if that was going to be it, or if she was going to want to continue. And three years later, it’s still going,” said Tania Haile, Lia’s Mom.
Lia’s mom is so proud of her daughter.
And others are equally impressed with what Lia has done.
“She is phenomenal. We need more children like her in this world,” said Tess Patenaude, Manitowoc.
Tess Patenaude works at the shelter, and says Lia’s impact on the families is enormous.
“The parents, it’s a huge relief for them, knowing that their children can have a birthday party,” said Patenaude.
But Lia didn’t stop with parties.
She recruited others to help and formed the Hopeful Hearts Club.
It has about 300 members who help with collecting books, school supplies, and other donations.
“It’s phenomenal for the kids, and it’s very much needed and appreciated by everybody. Even our volunteers are so touched by everything that she does for us,” said Patenaude.
Lia also wanted a safe place for the children to play.
And this summer, her dream became a reality.
The area behind the shelter was basically an open field, with nothing in it, until Lia and all of her volunteers got a hold of it, and turned it into the perfect play place.
Lia received a $1,000 grant to help pay for the equipment.
Her group also puts together welcome bags, and offers one to each child, staying at the shelter.
The bags contain personal hygiene products, a blanket, and stuffed animal.
“When I bring the families up to their rooms, when they’re first entering shelter, and they see the Welcome Home bags on their beds, already waiting for them,” Patenaude said. “The parents, I’ve had so many, thank me, that we’re doing that extra step to keep them and their children comfortable and feeling happy and welcome and just safe, when they’re so stressed out.”
And remember, Lia is just 12 years old. But she is going out into businesses in the community, asking for their help and donations, all to make the Hope House, feel more like home.
“So, I think she’s a huge role model not only for adults but of course for the children and her peers as well,” said Patenaude.
Some donors are surprised when they realize how young Lia is.
“Yeah I get that all the time. They’re like, ‘Oh, you’re only 12-years-old? How could you be doing all of this?’ I just want to help people,” said Lia Haile.
“She’s quietly inspiring. I think she’s brave. I think she’s courageous. I think she has an amazing heart, and it shows through in pretty much everything she does,” said Tania Haile.
Lia certainly has a hopeful heart, that continues to help others.
We’ve got a new event coming in 2016 and it sure is sweet! A Sweeter Life, a dessert showcase and tasting honoring Hope House of Manitowoc County will be held Friday,
February 12, 2016 at the Franciscan Music Center. The event will begin at 7:00 pm and is the most scrumptious way to start off your Valentine’s Day weekend!!!
The event will include an opportunity to taste signature items from local bakeries and bakers, free entertainment, and several raffles.
Please watch for future updates on the event to include a list of bakers and bakeries, attendance cost, and raffle listings! All net proceeds will be used to support Hope House of Manitowoc County.