Like thousands of other residents of New Orleans, La., whose lives were thrown into turmoil in 2005 in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Christina Pullen was forced to evacuate the city and abandon her studies at a culinary arts program there. But thanks to the goodwill of an eight-year-old boy, Pullen received a $315 donation for books and supplies to begin classes at Gallaudet, where she enrolled after evacuating New Orleans.

Her benefactor, Reedy Hines, is the 13-year-old son of Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Charity Reedy Hines and Biology Laboratory Coordinator Daniel Hines. With assistance from his aunt and cousins, Hines, who was 8 at the time, sold tomatoes supplied by his great grandmother outside the Galesville, Md. Post Office, raising $865. Reedy said he and his relatives were motivated to help the hurricane victims after watching television footage of the devastation from what proved to be one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history.

He said he learned of Pullen’s plight from his mother, presented the new Gallaudet student with a coffee can full of money to help her with her studies, and gave the balance of the proceeds to the American Red Cross to assist other hurricane victims. Reedy explained that helping others in need is part of his family’s tradition. “I think it is very important to give and not just sit there and keep all your money to yourself,” he said.

Pullen, who graduated from the University last month with a degree in biology, was reunited with her young benefactor at a December 19 dinner at the Hines’ home. “Seeing Christina again was really nice,” said Reedy. “I was able to see the beginning and end of her education path.” Pullen, who plans to do an internship in Alaska this summer and is considering graduate school, noted that Reedy has grown considerably since they first met, “but he still has that same sweet, giving personality, and I wish there were more kids with that type of trait!”

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