From the backseat of his Mom’s SUV, Owen Demory (pictured above second from right) looked out the window and saw a homeless man lying on a bench as the family drove to downtown Oklahoma City. The first grader noticed how sad the man looked and began to ask his Mom questions about why the man didn’t go home and sleep. When his mother, Rebecca Demory, explained to her son that some people don’t have homes, Owen was moved to act. “When I saw that man, it made me sad. I wanted to help him,” Owen said as he recounts what prompted him to want to do something.
As Owen’s 7th birthday approached, he decided he would save the birthday money he received in order to help the homeless, but his vision didn’t stop there. A few weeks later, Owen had the idea of seeing if any of his friends at King’s Gate Christian School – the school he attends – would want join him in collecting items for the homeless.
Neither of Owen’s teachers, Brittany Nottnagel nor Karen Benway, were surprised when they learned of what the King’s Gate first grader wanted to do. “Owen is always thinking of others. When our class was coming up with New Years Resolutions, he wrote ‘to help the community’ as one of his,” said King’s Gate first grade teacher, Karen Benway. Both Mrs. Benway and Mrs. Nottnagel agree that Owen takes to heart the creed on the wall in their classroom that reads, ‘I was born to know GOD. I was born to serve GOD. I was born to display His Glory.’ “The thing I always say about Owen is ‘he has a servant’s heart'”, added Mrs. Nottnagel.
The timing of Owen’s request could not have been more perfect as King’s Gate planned on January being service month at the school. During the last two weeks of January, the King’s Gate student body (preschool to 8th grade) brought in new socks and gloves, Bibles, canned dog food and personal hygiene items to donate to City Rescue Mission – a faith-based ministry in downtown OKC that provides support to local homeless people.
At the end of the donation drive, Rebecca Demory, and King’s Gate Development Director, Nicole Payne, helped Owen load up an SUV full of boxes and bags overflowing with items that had been donated. City Rescue Mission Community Outreach Coordinator, Salem Gullo, had a special message for Owen and affirmed him for reacting with such compassion to the needs of others. Thank you Owen for leading the way and inspiring all of us at King’s Gate to do the same!