WARSAW — Deputies at the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office were recently treated to a special delivery — pizza, courtesy of an 11-year-old Warsaw boy.
Haiden Hastings, a sixth grader at Washington Elementary School, did chores to earn money to purchase several pizzas for the deputies.
Kosciusko Sheriff Kyle P. Dukes shared the story of Haiden’s gesture of kindness at a recent Kosciusko Commissioners meeting, telling those in attendance that it was “extraordinarily impressive” that a young man would perform chores in his neighborhood with the intention of providing the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office personnel with pizza.
“A young man with such a servant’s heart is what we’re looking for in a future deputy sheriff,” said Sheriff Dukes. “We are humbled and grateful for Haiden’s generosity toward our staff.”
The pizza delivery wasn’t the first example of Haiden’s benevolence aimed at first responders.
Shortly after his delivery of pizzas to the Kosciusko County Jail, Haiden took tacos to the Warsaw-Wayne Fire Territory firefighters.
The son of James and Brittany Hastings, Haiden enjoys doing what he refers to as “random acts of kindness,” according to his father.
For his 11th birthday in February, Haiden told his parents he wanted to do something for local law enforcement officers.
“He didn’t want gifts or anything else for his birthday,” said James. “He just wanted to do something for the officers.”
The Hastings ended up hosting a steak and potato buffet dinner at their home. Deputies and jailers from the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Office, dispatchers from Kosciusko 911 Communications Center and officers from Warsaw, Winona Lake and Claypool police departments were invited.
The invitations, delivered by Haiden, read “It would be an honor to serve you a hot meal and thank you personally for protecting and serving our community,” and included the menu, date, time and address. Over 20 public servants attended.
“He knows they can’t accept cash donations or gift cards, but they are allowed to accept food, so that’s what he does,” said Haiden’s father, James. “He’s a good boy. He’s got a good heart. Haiden wants to show them that they are appreciated.”
James was a volunteer firefighter for 15 years and a reserve officer for seven years.
“I like to support first responders because they don’t get enough credit and they don’t get the appreciation they deserve,” Haiden said. “A lot of people only see police officers as arresting people and writing tickets, but they forget about all the good the police do.”
Haiden would like to bring more awareness about public servants to the community.
“When you place a call for help, dispatchers are the ones who get you the help you need. Jailers don’t just keep people at the jail, they also help the people at the jail. Firefighters run toward danger to help save lives, and EMS are hospitals on wheels without all the hospital equipment,” said Haiden. “All first responders are ready to handle your worst day no matter the time, day or situation.”
When asked what message he would like to send out to police, firefighters, dispatchers, jailers and EMS personnel, Haiden said, “Thank you for all you do for us. Always be safe. I will always support you any way I can.”