Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

After losing his parents, boy makes it his mission to cheer up strangers

When Jaden Hayes was 4, his father died, and soon after his mother also passed away, unexpectedly, in her sleep. Understandably, Hayes was surrounded by upset relatives and friends, and while trying to cope with his own grief, he decided it was time to cheer people up.

Hayes asked his temporary guardian to purchase small toys like dinosaurs and rubber ducks, so he could pass them out in downtown Savannah, Georgia. "I'm trying to make people smile," he told CBS News' Steve Hartman at the time. He succeeded, and got plenty of hugs from grateful strangers.

Hartman recently reconnected with Hayes, now living in Winterville, Georgia, with his aunt and uncle. He told Hartman that while he still misses his parents, the passage of time has helped him heal, and he's doing "pretty good." Two years ago, Hayes set the goal of making 33,000 people happy, and after taking a break, he told Hartman he's ready to pick it back up again. He's also looking ahead to the future — Hayes has set his sights on becoming a "famous basketball player and a famous baseball player." Catherine Garcia