We are so often inundated with dramatic stories of heartache and terror that we are often caught off guard by a story as touching as this one.
Nine-year-old Massachusetts boy Brendan Haas was delighted when he won an all-expenses paid Disney World vacation, but not for the reasons most would expect. As part of an initiative he created, the boy gave the trip away to the family of a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan.
He won the trip through a Facebook page he created in February called "Soldier for a Soldier." Haas was reportedly "inspired by the story of the guy who, through a series of trades, turned a paper clip into a house."
Like that guy, Haas began with a simple object, a toy soldier, and was eventually able to trade it for $900 worth of Disney gift certificates and hotel and airfare credits.
On Memorial Day Haas gave the trip to the family of U.S. Army Lt. Timothy Steele, a 25-year-old soldier killed in Afghanistan.
Yahoo News reports, "Haas pulled the name of Liberty Hope Steele, the fallen soldier's now 2-year-old daughter, out of a hat and surprised the Steele family at their home in Duxbury, Mass., home."
Haas' Facebook page was covered in comments of appreciation for the young boy's efforts.
"You're one amazing young man," Ann Marie Smith Braga wrote on the "Soldier for a Soldier" wall. "Our family lives on Hanscom AFB in Bedford, Mass. We are an active duty Army family. I want to thank you from all the Army families here at Hanscom."
"What you have done is unheard of in this day and age," April Johnson wrote. "I am so grateful for you and others like you! I am featuring your story in my newsletter.You are a very wonderful boy!"
"If everyone was like Brendan there would be no wars," Bob Wade wrote."Brendan, being 9 years old you may not fully realize how incredibly thoughtful your gift is but someday you will. I hope you continue to do great things in your life. The world needs people like you."