Teen shows big heart

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, August 11, 2009

AHOSKIE—People who practice the act of giving without the expectation of restitution come few and far between these days.

However, Stevie Mizelle of Ahoskie is an exception and he’s inspired one local business to follow suit.

Last week, the 16-year-old was presented a 25 cubic foot freezer by Eddie Harrell’s Auto and Sports with the help of a Frigidaire distributor.

It may seem like an unusual gift, but soon enough the freezer will be playing a vital role to children in need.

If Mizelle’s name looks familiar it’s because the teen recently captured the top prize at the Hertford-Northampton Livestock Show and Sale with a 1,205-pound steer he raised and affectionately dubbed Bando. He was a novice (first year competitor) in the show and said he was quite shocked to win the top prize.

Mizelle, who is involved with the Hertford County 4-H Club, could have sold the steer for more than $900 at the annual sale. Instead, following the Livestock Show, he decided instead to donate the meat to Adullam House, an orphanage in Alabama.

In September, Mizelle and his father, Steven, (mom is Daphne) plan to drive south to deliver all 600 pounds of the meat and 900 ears of corn (grown by his grandmother, Johnnie) that has been shucked and hulled by 11 of the Mizelle’s family members and friends. The Mizelles said the freezer will also be donated to Adullam House.

“Basically, I found out about it when my dad went down to help with the plumbing (at Adullam House),” said Mizelle. “They (receive) no help from the government; they rely completely on donations…I felt like God wanted me to help.”

Adullam House is located in Wetumpka, Ala. on 18 acres of land and provides children (most whose mothers are incarcerated) with a safe home and a Christian education. The ministry currently houses 30 children, but upon the completion of a planned expansion the organization will be able to care for up to 48. Adullam House runs completely on donations and was created by Pete and Angie Spackman.

Once the staff at Eddie Harrell’s Auto and Sports heard about Mizelle’s effort they decided to pay the teen’s generosity forward.

The business, with help from Tim Sheridan with Almo Corp., which distributes Frigidaire, worked to secure the large freezer to help Mizelle in transporting the meat. Eddie Harrell’s Auto and Sports also donated $100 to help with travel expenses.

Jewel Dilday, co-owner of the store, said those at the family-operated business were inspired to help Mizelle after hearing about his story.

“I think it was an admirable thing to do, not to take that money and instead of buying (what he wanted), use it for this,” she said.

Mizelle’s willingness to help others was not lost on Sheridan’s part either. With urging from the staff at Eddie Harrell’s, Sheridan was compelled to tell the story to his boss resulting in Almo “pitching in a bit.”

“It’s a random act of kindness,” he said about Mizelle’s kindness. “That’s what community is all about.”

In the meantime, Mizelle holds his memories of Bando close to his heart, but is glad the animal will help so many in the end.

As for those who are coming to his aide in helping others, Mizelle said with irony, “I’m very, very thankful for people having the heart to help.”

For more information about Adullam House visit, www.adullamhouse.org.