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CRESTVIEW — Jaedyn "Jae" Williams will be 7 years old soon, and the Crestview resident wants nothing more for his birthday than to help others.

To that end, he is requesting donations of paper and cleaning products, drinks and other items through July 31 to benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Pensacola.

A video on his Facebook page list those items and encourages area residents to "be the change" they wish to see in the world.

'Be the Change'

With assistance from his parents, Jaedyn has collected and distributed monetary, food and other donations to people and organizations across Northwest Florida. The family became friends with some of the children they met when contributing to the Ronald McDonald House and Sacred Heart Hospital.

"Some of them have Facebook pages that help them share their story. I would often read them to him and show him photos of his friends' pages, which led to Jae asking for his own." He was persistent about it too, she said. It took six months to convince her, but she finally started https://www.facebook.com/Jaedynisthechange after he told her his reasoning: "Mom, if you let me get a Facebook, we can help other people help too and then lots of people can help and be the change."

Jaedyn is a special needs student with high-functioning autism and severe Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Despite these and other issues, his parents, Cassey and Stephen Williams, focus on the positive things about life.

"We have often had to comfort him through situations of being bullied at school due to other children making fun of him for being overly emotional and not being able to understand and speak like his peers," his mother said. "This experience, although far from easy, has taught us as a family so much. Instead of focusing on the 'bad' we started teaching our son the good."

"We asked him, 'What can we do to make sure that other people don't feel like others have made you feel?' He came up with the "Be The Change" slogan all on his own, because that's what he wants to do is change sad and mad hearts into happy ones," Cassey said. Their efforts also had an unexpected impact.

"We had no idea he would run with this as he has ... he wants to stop everywhere and make sure everyone has what they need and that they feel appreciated," his mom said.

HOW TO HELP


Email bethechange_jae@yahoo.com, call or contact Cassey Williams, 850-736-3717 or via Facebook message. The email address may also be used for Paypal donations.
Drop off donations at the Q92 radio station on Ferry Road in Fort Walton Beach or arrange neutral location drop offs.
They also accept cash, checks or money orders, and Square app credit card payments for the Ronald McDonald House.