Young volunteer with big goals

By Beau Ebenezer

March 22, 2013 Updated Mar 22, 2013 at 9:39 PM CDT

PEORIA Ill -- Anyone who knows Riley Moran in his day-to-day life would say he's the shy-type.

But behind closed doors, it seems to be a another story.

"When he was little he heard a lot of sermons about using your gifts to help other people, so he wanted to take action on that," said Riley's mother, Barbra Moran.

Riley went to his parents at the age of 8, and announced he wanted to open a soup kitchen.

While that dream was a little unrealistic for his family at the time, they still jumped on board with Riley's idea to help, and called up Neighborhood House in Peoria.

"It was kind of something we haven't had in the past, where somebody that age is wanting to actively volunteer," said Interim Executive Director at Neighborhood House, Amy Jansen. "He just turned eleven this week and he's organized his second dance party all on his own. It is pretty exciting and amazing that this kid can do that."

Riley's Annual Rock'n the House Family Dance Party at Northminster Presbyterian Church, raised $1,700 last year, which went into Neighborhood House's Childcare Center, providing art supplies and other material for children.

"It makes me feel really good to know that I am helping people and maybe changing there lives with all of the stuff I'm doing," said Riley.

Riley has also made a big contribution in providing over 100 toys for children during the holidays.

Neighborhood House officials say thanks to Riley's unexpected help last Christmas they have a surplus of toys for this year.

Now, Riley and his mother are looking forward to their second annual dance party on Saturday, March 23rd, with their fund raising goal at $2,000.

Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door.

Riley said he is not really sure where the money is going this year, just as long as it is helping.

"This year I'm kind of hoping they can decide what to do with the money because I'm really not good at making decisions."