EAST HAVEN--An East Haven boy is planning a birthday celebration, but he won't be the center of attention.
In the last few years, 12-year-old Gunner Horton’s priorities have started to shift.
"People fall, but when I fall, I've got my family to pick me up. They don't have anyone," said Horton of those living in poverty.
Gunner's dad says Gunner learned that lesson after non-stop complaining. "Buy me this, buy me that," he say constantly.
Lance Horton says, "So that day, we decided to give him a little dose of reality and we brought him to his first homeless shelter."
That experience was eye opening for Gunner. Within a day, the organization Kids Making a Difference was started. It's gotten pretty popular. Gunner has even been recognized by New Haven Mayor Toni Harp.
Gunner and his dad showed FOX 61 pictures from last year's event called Love-A-Fair on the New Haven Green, a free flea market for children and families in need. It was put on by KMAD and J-HOP, another organization that gives back.
Gunner said, “When the DJ was blaring music everyone was dancing and happy getting clothes and food.”
This year, Gunner's 13th birthday falls on the same day as the community give-back event, so he wants to celebrate his birthday with family, friends, and strangers on the New Haven Green giving back. He and his dad are hopeful this event will be bigger than the last.
Horton said, “We had about 100 tables of clothing, where anybody could come and pick it up. We had 50-60 pizzas, all kinds of food. Jackets, backpacks, whatever you and i take for granted and throw out means the world to them.”
The Horton’s are hoping you’ll join them on the Green at some point this Saturday, April 23, from noon to 5 p.m. with any food, clothing, or toiletries to help the less fortunate.