CHICKASHA, Okla. - Ask most kids what they want for their birthday and they'll likely give you a long list, but one little girl in Chickasha only wanted one thing - donations to help babies.
Bella Spray just celebrated her ninth birthday. And, just as she did for her seventh and eighth birthdays, she asked her family, friends, and church family for donations to Life Choices, a non-profit organization that offers free baby supplies to mothers in need.
"I just want to hug her." Letha Page attends church with Bella's family at First Church of the Nazarene, where Bella is also coordinating a school supplies drive for a local teacher.
Pastor Joe Ellis says Bella also feeds the homeless with her family in Oklahoma City.
"Really she could teach us all about what it means to be the church. And the way she cares, the way she thinks of others, at such a young age, it really is an inspiration," Pastor Joe said.
"I think it's wonderful that a child can do something like that," and that's why Letha nominated Bella for a $400 Pay It 4Ward award from First Fidelity Bank, which just so happens to be the value of the donations she raised for her 9th birthday.
News 4's Heather Holeman knocked on Bella's door for the big surprise.
"Hi, we're with Channel 4, and you're on TV because you are such a sweet little girl, and we have something to give to you through our program called Pay It 4Ward," Heather said. "Did you expect to have a TV camera in your face today?"
"Um, no," said Bella with a shocked look on her face.
Bella introduced our news crew to her family and showed us her favorite toy, a little L.O.L. Surprise! doll.
Heather asked, "Why did you choose not to get any more L.O.L. dolls for your birthday?" Bella replied, "Because I wanted to help babies instead."
Bella and her sisters are home-schooled, and mom, Kirsten, teaches them much more than just book work, but about life lessons as well.
"I think it's just summed up in 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart,' and secondly, to love your fellow man as Jesus loves them, and that's what we try to teach them and try to do ourselves," Kirsten said.
Bella's mother said it all began when they were reading about missionaries who were handing out Bibles in other countries.
"And she said, 'I want to give Bibles to babies,'" Kirsten said.
Life Choices in Chickasha does just that, which is why it has been Bella's charity of choice for her past three birthdays, for which she's raised about $1,000 in baby item donations.
"Have you heard that you have a really big heart?" Heather asked Bella.
"People have told me that," Bella said. "I just like to help others like Jesus did."
'Pay It 4Ward' is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.