Five-year-old hosts birthday parties for homeless kids

Posted at 5:10 PM, Sep 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-18 19:10:22-04

A five-year-old is making a huge impact at a local homeless shelter. The Boise native is the youngest helper to ever volunteer at Interfaith Sanctuary in downtown Boise.

She may be small, but anyone at Interfaith Sanctuary will tell you that Grace Stoltey has a big heart. She spends countless hours at the sanctuary, as the organization's youngest volunteer. 

"They are just reassured, because Grace is in their lives," said Jodi Peterson, Interfaith Sanctuary's Development Director. "So they don't have to worry about, 'How am I going to have a birthday, if I don't even have a home?' Grace answers that question for them."

Grace throws monthly birthday parties for kids living at the shelter, and funds it all through her lemonade stands, along with donations. 

"We get a list each month of the birthday kiddos and their ages, and Grace makes cupcakes and we've gotten pretty good at decorating," said Christy Little, Grace's mother. "She picks out gifts and buys balloons for the birthday kids."

But it's not just birthday parties. Grace also organizes weekly game nights, and this past summer, she even took shelter guests on a trip to the zoo. 

Too shy to even talk on camera, friends and family say her demeanor changes when she's with her friends at the sanctuary.

"She really has an exceptional way around our kids who are homeless right now," Peterson said. "She gives them great comfort and they so look forward to whenever she comes." 

If you'd like to contribute to Grace's birthday fund, you can drop off your donation at Bank of the West. Her account is called Chasing Hopes and Dreams, or CHAD for short. 

Grace and her mother will receive the Volunteers of the Year Award at Interfaith Sanctuary's first-ever Gala and Awards Ceremony on Saturday, Sept. 30.