Alex White and Hope (photo submitted by the White family)
(WIBW) - The U.S. House of Representatives now knows of a Topeka-area girl's efforts to help her classmate get a new service dog.
Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Kansas, shared the story of Saige Halseth and Alex White on the House floor Tuesday.
Saige and Alex are fifth graders at Shawnee Heights Elementary School. When Alex' dog, Hope, was hit by a vehicle and killed in March, Saige took action to spearhead fundraising efforts for a new dog.
Saige says she is doing it because she considers Alex a friend and knows how important a service dog will be to him in life.
Jenkins sees something more.
“I want to thank Saige, a caring, young leader and inspiration to her community, for her selfless commitment to helping her friend Alex," Jenkins said in her remarks on the floor. "It’s because of young people like Alex and Saige that even after (Monday’s) tragedy in Boston, we can indeed ‘always have hope'."
Saige's efforts have brought in $20,000 so far, with an estimated $30,000 needed for a new service dog. Further details can be found on her "Always Have Hope" Facebook page, while contributions can be made to any Alliance Bank location.
Full remarks from U.S. Lynn Jenkins:
“Today, I would like to share a story about Saige Halseth, a 5th grade student at Shawnee Heights Elementary School in Topeka, Kansas, who has brought together her community by helping her classmate Alex White.
“Alex suffers from a progressive neurological condition that affects his balance and mobility, and relied on a special companion, a service-dog named Hope, until March when Hope was tragically killed by a motorist. For Alex, Hope was a blessing, a best friend, and to quote Alex directly, ‘quite the chick-magnet’.
“Saige knew how much Alex depended on Hope, and she started a fundraising campaign to help him afford a new service dog. She wrote letters sharing his story and sold wristbands that read ‘Always Have Hope.’
“I want to thank Saige, a caring, young leader and inspiration to her community, for her selfless commitment to helping her friend Alex.
“It’s because of young people like Alex and Saige that even after yesterday’s tragedy in Boston, we can indeed ‘always have hope’.”