LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Hundreds of thousands are people affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma still have a long road to recovery ahead. One WAVE Country sweetheart is hoping to help those efforts.
Turning nine was a pretty big deal for Cooper Bowen.
"I had chocolate chip cookie cake with a football field on it," Cooper said, sifting through a stack of birthday cards. "I really like this one, it looks like a football."
One thing that was different for Cooper this year was that he didn't get any gifts; no toys, no electronics.
"Instead of asking for presents, I asked my friends to bring money for the people in the hurricane," Cooper said.
"They picked the theme this year to be empathy and compassion for all," Cooper's mother Angie Bowen said, referring to Saint Gabriel School's theme of the year.
Some of Saint Gabriel School 740 students are learning algebra while others are working on rounding. One thing that everyone is learning? Is generosity towards others.
"What a perfect example of compassion for somebody in need than our 9-year-old deciding to give his birthday gift to victims," Assistant Principal Jennifer Schulz said.
Cooper received more than $450 for his birthday and it is all going towards hurricane relief.
"My mom told me about that, we could give money to them because they barely had anything left," Cooper said.
"We would ask Cooper what he wanted for his birthday," Bowen said. "If he can't think of anything because we're very blessed, then I'm like maybe we need to do something for other people."
"Teaching them to be kind not only to those they know here at school but also the people they don't know," Bowen added when asked what she emphasizes in her home.
Cooper's 9th birthday gift not only touched Cooper's heart but also the hearts of many. Cooper will donate the majority of his sum to Catholic Charities which will then put the money towards hurricane relief efforts. Cooper will also donate a small chunk to the American Red Cross.