12/21/20

Hidden Wings

Hidden Wings

Scott Hazel, Vice President of Trucking Operations

 

I started my first company when I was 19 years old. Since then, I’ve started 22 more. I’ve never been scared of anything. Some people may call me a “serial entrepreneur”, but the consistent theme throughout all 23 companies has been that I’ve followed my passion. I believe that I was put on this earth to give back and help others. 

When I sold my last company, I was trying to decide what I wanted to do next. One day driving my daughter to school, I saw a mother in her car, pulled over on the side of the road, sobbing. This woman was worrying about whether her child was going to eat lunch that day because they didn’t have money for food. At that moment, I looked at my daughter in the backseat, wearing a new dress, and knew that we had to help.

Because we saw a need and wanted to assist, my wife and I started a non-profit organization called Hidden Wings. Daily struggles are real for so many families, like that mother in her car. We wanted to alleviate the burden, and give them a moment to breathe. The objective of Hidden Wings is to help single moms and dads at Christmastime so that they don’t have to worry about gifts. My passion is giving. It’s helping. I think creating this non-profit organization is what I was put here to do. 

Our first recipient was a single mother of six, including one with special needs. The children wore the same clothes every day. The mom couldn’t afford heat in her home for months. She worked three jobs and happened to have a conversation with their school counselor where she mentioned they could not afford to have Christmas. The counselor got in touch with me, and we decided to focus on their family for our first year.

The first year, my wife and I donated our own money. The next year, we started reaching out to friends and family. We’ve now also been supported by our work family, and every year the organization has grown. I’m in charge of fundraising, and we accept donations throughout the year. My siblings and their spouses are involved too, to reach out to teachers and counselors at local schools to identify families in need.

After we raise money, we take our entire extended family with all of our nieces and nephews on an all-day shopping trip to fulfill the wish lists of our chosen families. We will shop on the 20th of December, and drop off on December 22 this year. It has taught our kids about giving. They look forward to it all year. My family doesn’t do a traditional family Christmas. Giving back through Hidden Wings is our Christmas.

The intent is to keep the donors and giving activities hidden, so we call ahead to a family member to coordinate the wish lists and drop offs. We secretly drop off wrapped gifts, dinner, and even on occasion we have decorated an entire house with a tree and lights. It’s like there is a Santa. Those are amazing moments. We don’t get to see their reactions, but I know it’s impactful to those families. 

Our goal each year is to serve 5 families. Some years we get to 10-15 families. Over the past nine years, we have reached at least 45 families. They live anywhere from Marietta, Oklahoma to Denton to Lindsay, Gainesville, Krum and Sanger, Texas. Those 45 families are not as impacted as our family has been.

After starting so many companies, working at Osburn has been extremely fun for me. It’s a great place to settle in. Osburn is such a good family to work with. When I leave my wife and kids in the morning, I get the opportunity to go to work with my second family. Osburn supports me, and has supported Hidden Wings too. 

I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. When it comes to work, and life: go do what you love. Life is so, so short. At the end of the day, living is more than going through the motions. It’s about giving. 

www.hiddenwings.net