As the holiday season approaches, Morgan Scrarbro has much for which to be thankful. What fills her heart this time of year however, is not everything she has, but rather, everything she can give.
Morgan, an 11-year-old student at Eaton Rapids Middle School, loves to give, especially to those who really need to receive. Giving back has always been a part of her life, something she learned from her parents. But, her generosity really took off for her through her involvement with pageants.
“My family has always done a lot of charity work and giving back to the community even before I started giving back myself,” Morgan said. “I try to help those that need help. This is what makes my heart feel good, helping others.”
Through the pageants in which she competes, Morgan has been able to help a number of causes and individuals. Her efforts have reached people from Haiti, where she helped raise money for earthquake relief, to Coldwater, where she raised money for a women’s shelter, to her own community. The connection she has made with her fellow contestants has only fueled her desire to do more. She has even started her own effort — Morgan’s HUGS, which can be found on Facebook.
Recently, she and another pageant contestant participated in a photo contest through a child model magazine to raise money for The Stock Yard in Charlotte and its effort to provide a free Thanksgiving dinner to those in need in Eaton County. The idea for this Stock Yard’s Thanksgiving dinner started out as a way to provide a place for local veterans in need to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.
“I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving at home with my family and wanted everyone to be able to enjoy a good Thanksgiving dinner,” Morgan said. “I have visited, with my dad who is a veteran, many veterans and know that not all of them have families they get to visit with during the holidays. This is a great idea to let them celebrate the holidays with someone. I have also went on street walks to help feed the homeless and have seen how thankful that people are. All of these things have made me want to help with this event.”
Morgan is also working on a project to provide 175 backpacks to homeless children, a project she began working on in the spring. She has done a lot of outreach with the Homeless Angels organization, which helps the homeless in the greater Lansing area.
“Watching Morgan fill shoeboxes and backpacks brings not only joy to her but makes us both extremly proud,” said her mother, Debra of she and her husband, Lawrence. “Teaching her that no matter what the circumstances, whether it is a homeless vet, someone in a shelter or on the streets, or someone that has been put into a circumstance they cannot control, it has taught her that everyone matters.”
Throughout all of her efforts, she still finds time to be a kid. In addition to participating in pageants, Morgan is a black belt in karate, a member of the Eaton Rapids Middle School cheerleading squad and has been a member of the Girl Scouts since kindergarten. Giving back to the community through her various projects, though, is never far from her mind.
“If it was not for all the pageants that let us do community service and all the pageant directors allowing me to organize and do charity work at the pageants and all my pageant friends for bringing items for different charities, I would never be able to do as much as I have,” she said.Morgan Scarbro