When it comes to birthday celebrations, many children would hope to see party-goers bring gifts just for the birthday boy or girl. Not Sampson’s Aaron Sessoms, though.
Sessoms thought about others, too. For his recent birthday party at the Pizza Inn, the 8-year-old asked friends and family members to bring nonperishable food items rather than a gift for him.
“It felt really good,” Aaron said about turning his attention — and the attention of his friends and family — to those in need.
Following in the footsteps of his sister, Kennedy Grace, and other friends, Aaron decided the best birthday present would be if he could help the less fortunate. During a pageant, Kennedy raised money to help others. It was an idea that stuck with her brother who decided to do his own version of giving back via his birthday party.
Those who came to the party honored the young man’s wishes, bringing non-perishable food items.
The food was donated to Thom Miles, pastor and director of Enlighten The World Ministries. Enlighten the World is a mobile crisis center that assists the underprivileged and victims of disaster in Sampson and surrounding counties. This is the ministry’s fourth year of serving the community.It is operated by a dedicated group of volunteers; there are no paid staff members.
The canned goods, Miles has often said, goes a long way in helping his ministry feed the hungry, a project young Aaron was happy to lend his hand too.
His family was very proud of the 8-year-old’s effort and his willingness to give up gifts to help people in need.
“We’re proud that he wanted to help others,” said Aaron’s mother, Susan Vinson. “He’s very generous with anything that he has.”
Aaron’s father, J.W. Vinson, echoed those remarks.
“I feel great that there are kids nowadays that realize there is more than just toys and play and that they can help people out,” J.W. said about efforts to make the community better for all its residents. “I’ve been in law enforcement for 38 years and it takes everyone pulling together to make things better, it really does.”
Aaron hopes to help more people in the future too. As members of the church, the family donates their time to assist people.
He’s currently a second-grader at Harrells Christian Academy and plays T-ball. The child, from Turkey, is also a member of the Boy Scouts.
Giving to others, he said, is important and something that is taught at his school, his church and through the Boys Scouts.