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We end tonight with a little boy with enormous power - the power to lift spirits.
Here's Steve Hartman, On The Road.
It is every kid's worst nightmare, and six-year-old Jaden Hayes has lived it. Twice.
First, he lost his dad when he was four, then last month his mom died unexpectedly in her sleep.
I tried and I tried, I tried to... to get her awake, I couldn't.
Jaden is understandably heartbroken.
Anybody can die, just anybody.
But there's another side to his grief, a side he first made public a few weeks ago,
when he told his aunt, and now guardian, Barbara DiCola,
that he was sick and tired of seeing everyone sad all the time, and he had a plan to fix it.
And that was the beginning of it, that's where the adventure began.
Jaden asked his aunt Barbara to buy a bunch of little toys and bring them here to downtown Savannah Georgia,
near where he lives.
(Thank you sweetie!)
So he could then (You want me to have it?) give them away.
(Thank you man)
What is it you're doing?
Well, I'm trying to make people smile.
Rubber duckies, dinosaurs...
'Cause those are the things that make people smile?
Yeah!
And what happens to their face?
Really?
Really.
(See that man right there?)
Jaden targets people who aren't already smiling and then turns their day around.
(You made me smile!)
He's gone out on four different occasions now, and he's always successful.
It's to make you smile.
Even if sometimes he doesn't get exactly the reaction he was hoping for.
It is just so overwhelming to some people that a six-year-old orphan would give away a toy,
expecting nothing in return, except a smile.
Of course, he is paid handsomely in hugs.
And his aunt says these reactions have done wonders for Jaden.
It's like sheer joy came out of this child,
and the more people that he made smile, the more this light showed.
Jaden says, that's mostly true.
But I'm still sad that my mom died.
I bet you are.
This is by no means a fix, but in the smiles he's made so far, nearly five hundred at last count.
Jaden has clearly found a purpose.
I'm counting on it to be 33,000.
33,000?
That's a pretty big goal!
Um hmm!
You think you can make that goal?
Uh-huh, I think I can!
I think, he just did.
Steve Hartman, On The Road, in Savannah Georgia.
And that's the CBS Evening News for tonight. From all of us at CBS News all around the world, I'm Scott Pelley, and I'll see you Sunday on Sixty Minutes. Good night.
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After losing parents, 6-year-old boy seeks smiles

53725 Folder Collection
Ray Du published on December 30, 2015
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