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Okeechobee County boy makes homemade hearts for first responders

Zander Noal, 6, of Okeechobee County, makes homemade hearts for local responders.PNG
Posted at 5:58 AM, Sep 18, 2023

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, Fla. — If you’ve ever wanted to say thank you to the men and women who risk their lives for our safety, a special first grader in Okeechobee might be able to take care of that for you.

Zander Noal is just getting started with a project that just comes naturally to him all through his love for those that put their life on the line.

It’s through a mission called Z’s Hearts for Heroes. Noal and his family make homemade, hand-painted cardboard hearts and hand them to firefighters, police officers, and military veterans.

WPTV anchor Mike Trim asked Noal how he felt about handing these hearts to his heroes.

"My heart’s like, feeling good and stuff. And like, when I give that to them, when they’re on like a big call or something, they can look at that and then have a nice day," Noal said.

Noal and his father, Chris Noal, also distribute gift cards to local first responders and veterans through this project in which they are now accepting donations.

He talked about his son’s passion to say thank you.

"Ever since he was a baby he’s always drawn to first responders and kind of like, surreal how it’s taken off in the last year or two," said Chris Noal.

Okeechobee County Fire Rescue Lt. Will Corona was a recent recipient of one of Zander’s hearts. He said Zander visits fire stations and police stations so often, he’s a familiar face now.

"I mean, how can you not help but smile when he pops in with a big smile on his face? It just changes everything and it’s awesome,” said Corona.

"I hope they don’t get hurt or anything like that. I feel good that they’re having that job because they could save a lot of people’s lives," Zander Noal said.

A big thought from a 6-year-old on a mission to share thanks.

You can donate to Z’s Heart for Heroes by clicking here. All donations go to gift card distributions to first responders and military veterans in the area. The donations also go to make new homemade hearts.