Southside boy donates birthday money to buy treats for Franciscan Health staff

By Amy Moshier

When 9-year-old Southsider Hunter-Michael Hutchins said he wanted to use money his parents would have spent on his birthday to say “thank you” to local healthcare workers, his parents were pleased but not really surprised.

“He’s always trying to find ways to help others,” said Hunter-Michael’s father, John-Michael. And how did Hunter-Michael raise the rest of the money he needed? Well, he had $20 from his scrap metal business in addition to the $150 that would have been his birthday money. He asked for donations from a couple of places and ended up with over $2,100 to put toward treats such as frozen yogurt for healthcare workers at Franciscan Hospital.

“We talked about the pandemic, on the effects it’s having on everybody, especially healthcare workers,” said John-Michael. “He wanted to find a way to help.”

Hunter-Michael Hutchins paid off a loan on a truck with money saved from his recycling business. (Submitted photo)

Indeed. Hunter-Michael has run a scrap metal business since 2016 and his father has been there to help every step of the way. The father-son team drives around in an old, white pickup truck. Hunter-Michael was able to pay the loan off with saved proceeds from the business. The duo stops by businesses that have scrap metal that can be donated, according to John-Michael.

Hunter-Michael has enjoyed seeing how much others want to help him in his business. “The response from the community has been amazing,” said Hunter-Michael.

In a time when there are a lot of tough things happening, his success has brought smiles and appreciation across the nation with media outlets, including Good Moring America. GMA which had a surprise from Lowe’s.  “They donated $500 to his business,” said Joe Stuteville, media relations manager for Franciscan Health, where healthcare workers will enjoy the frozen yogurt and soft pretzels. The idea that a 9-year-old could have such an idea was not lost on the workers or support staff.

“They were very touched by the thoughtfulness,” said Stuteville.

Such success from a 9-year-old. The future, indeed, looks bright.