Two Coweta boys pay it forward for birthdays

by Bradley Hartsell

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David, 7, and Kyle Coleman, 11, stock the shelves of Coweta County Food Pantry. For the past three years, the boys have given to the food pantry for their birthdays instead of receiving presents. 


Sometimes kids can be selfish, sure, but nobody faults little ones for wanting a whole bunch of presents on their birthday. It’s only natural, after all.

But Kyle and David Waters aren’t all that interested in getting birthday gifts. On their birthdays, separated by only four days in November, they’d rather give than receive.

For the fifth year in a row, the Waters children elected to donate food to an organization instead of asking for a new XBox or toys. In November, they gave to the Coweta County Food Pantry for the third time. They have also given to the local animal shelter in the past, as well as a program called “Backpack Buddies,” which takes food for children who may not get proper meals on the weekend.

“They just decided, when they were little, they got a lot already and decided instead of asking for presents for their birthday parties, they’d start asking for canned food to donate,” said mother Michele Waters, who added the kids also encourage their party guests to bring canned food or pet food.

Waters mentioned her boys are interested in donating books next year. Even the best-behaved children like asking for gifts on their birthday.

So why do, Kyle, 11, and David, 7, go above and beyond on their birthdays?

“I really don’t know. They just have good hearts, I guess,” said the proud mother. “They think birthdays should be about sharing the joy. They enjoy it every year. They look forward it, too.

“They like the food pantry because they get to stock the shelves. Everyone is so appreciative, too. Their reward is the gratitude. That’s the present in and of itself.”

The Waters’ family friends, the Harmons from Mississippi, had the original idea for their family, but Kyle Waters ran with the idea and is now something he really enjoys.

“Because I get so much stuff and I just realized that I don’t need it all and it would be good to give it back to people who need food,” said Waters. “We did it so everybody can have food. Everybody is always say happy to see us when we come, they say ‘Oh, thank you!’ That makes me feel good.”

When Nov. 7 rolls around for David and Nov. 11 for Kyle, Waters assures that her two boys still get a little something from mom and dad, the grandparents and friends. She’s just proud those gifts aren’t the ones that make birthdays special for the kind hearts of Kyle and David Waters.



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