“I haven’t had a lot of good things happen in my life,” he said, so the experience at Kalahari restored some of his faith in humanity.
Hale was asked what were some of the special things he enjoyed doing with Aiden at the resort.
“Honestly, watching movies,” the Norwalk man said.
His son, who enjoys superhero movies, also had the chance to do some bowling in a scaled-down alley at Kalahari.
“We got a super nice suite,” Hale said. “It definitely went above and beyond what (Metal for Moms) needed to do.”
Metal for Moms played it forward — as the charity organization is known to do — with the Hale family. In January, students raised money for the group by selling coffee, hot chocolate and donates for two weeks. Metal for Moms then used that $423 to give Hale’s family a time to remember.
On Friday, there was an assembly in the MAC for junior- and senior high students.
“Having this assembly … was to show the kids at Monroeville that the smallest act of kindness can have a huge impact on someone. Sometimes you don't see the end result. But today they did,” said Josh Roeder, of Metal for Moms.
Guidance counselor Jen Harvey agreed, saying it was rewarding for the students “to see what they accomplished” with their fundraising efforts.
During the assembly, Roeder said “there were a lot of teary eyes.” Harvey, referring to the students, told him later “that’s all they talked about all day.”
Metal for Moms is geared toward helping children and families. Roeder said one mission is “helping small charities do big things.” Metal for Moms also assists Deep Roots of Hope, started by Milan resident Holly Weilnau, which provides free vegetables for cancer-stricken families.
“It’s just a way to help out local, small charities grow,” Roeder said. “It’s a way to give back to the community. We get to meet so many great people.”
Metal for Moms has a distinctive Monroeville foundation. Three of the regular members are graduates: Roeder and his best friend, Kevin Scheid (both from the class of 2002) and J.T. Smith (2001).
“We were asked to speak at our alma mater a few months back about the importance of community service. The school requires so many hours to graduate, so they asked us to speak about (the) Metal for Moms project we started in 2011,” Roeder said.
“They surprised us with over $400 they raised from selling coffee hot chocolate and donuts. We were blown away and knew we had to do something special with it.”
Roeder and Hale have known each other for a couple years.
“(It) took a little while to figure out what we were going to do,” Roeder said, referring to the money the Monroeville students raised.
“We prayed about it and God put Josh Hale in my path. I met him through the scrap yard where we take our metal. I haven't seen him in a while and told me he was expecting twins. I asked him about his son; I knew he was around my son's age. He said (Aiden was) not doing good at all.”
Metal for Moms uses money collected from scrap metal to do its charity work.
“He (Hale) proceeded to tell me that (his son) had cancer of the brain with a tumor. The doctors haven't gave him much time on this earth. Broke my heart. So I knew this was the family we were going to bless,” Roeder said.
“With the money the kids at Monroeville raised we bought them a night at Kalahari (and) a gift card, so all the games food, candy, etc. would be covered. Also a LEGO set because it's one of Aiden's favorite toys. It's amazing seeing how strong they both are going through the cards they were dealt. Aiden is amazing; he is such a sweet young man.”
Hale said Metal for Moms “did an amazing job.”
“They didn’t need to do anything for me,” he added.
Metal for Moms is a Christian-based organization.
“The big reason we do what we do is that we are after the Lord's heart. Any time you help the less fortunate or those going through (a) difficult time you are doing the Lord's work,” Roeder said.