Casey's Heart

Eleven-year-old Casey Rogers will literally bring down the house… actually, a sports stadium. As a prize for winning the Kraft Foods’ Project Cheddar Explosion essay contest, Casey will press the trigger for an implosion that would demolish the Texas Stadium. But this was no ordinary contest. It was “for kids who have made a difference in their communities.” (Source: And Casey is no ordinary boy. Three years ago, Casey saw his father, Pastor Russel Rogers, shooing away a homeless man. His heart went out for the panhandler. Reflecting on his past as a foster child, Casey thought, “I was just like, look how great y’all helped me… Why don’t I help them?”

So, he pioneered the Casey’s Heart, a ministry of Trinity Life Baptist Church of Garland, Texas, where his dad serves as the senior pastor. The charity collects goods and then distributes them to the homeless people. “Dallas’ homeless recognize [Casey] as the warm-hearted kid who often shows up in a downtown parking lot offering food and clothes.” When he heard about the essay contest, he wrote about his work. According to Kraft, “We received a lot of entries that were very impressive… Casey’s really stood out because of the great difference he’s made in his community.”

(Sadly, Dallas News got some negative comments from readers about Casey’s dad. One goes like this, “Dad, you ‘shooed away’ a request for help? Being a pastor and a dad surely you could have thought of a better way to show compassion. Doesn’t God want us to help even the least of us? Not a good example.” But I think he did exactly just that. He helped his son start a ministry that would do much better than doling out alms to the homeless.)

Casey’s labor of love helped the homeless get back on their feet. He fondly talks about one of his fruit, Fred, who got reunited with his family. Maura Gast, executive director of the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau, finds it “hard to fathom that an elementary-aged kid dreamed up a way to help the homeless—and then followed through for years.” She added, “Maybe by the time you’re the age we are you’re too jaded to think you can do anything to fix it and when you’re young you don’t have any reason to think you can’t.” Truly, there’s no age limit as far as making a difference in the world is concerned… as long as we have the heart to do it.

Brethren, let us make a difference in our community.


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