Others before self: boys donate birthday fundsPublished 7:06pm Saturday, March 8, 2014
Several area boys are living examples that it’s better to give than receive.
Their decision to forgo gifts for their 12th or 13th birthdays resulted in donations going to the Marion L. Shepard Cancer Center. Each of the boys has a family member and/or neighbor who have been served by the cancer center. They raised $1,338 through donations made by their families and friends. The boys have known each other for several years and attend school together at P.S. Jones Middle School.
The fundraising effort not only impressed their families but others, too.
“All of us are really good friends. It’s an unusual things for 13-year-olds to do on their birthdays,” said Allen Crisp of Washington. “All of the people involved, all the boys, have family members that have been treated in that cancer center.”
One of his grandparents, who is living, was treated at the center.
The request for people to make donations to the cancer center instead of buying birthday presents for the boys was included on invitations to their joint birthday party. The boys set no funding raising goal, other than to raise as much money as they could for the cancer center.
Harrison Schmidt, also of Washington, explains how the project came about: “We were having a party; and it’s better to give than receive. So, I already had everything I needed. So, I figured why not give to somebody who doesn’t have everything.”
Courtland Whitley, another Washington boy, said a grandparent and neighbor were treated at the cancer center.
“These are all my friends. We wanted to help other people that didn’t have as much as we did. So, we just came up with this,” he said.
Grant Crisp, yet another Washington youth, said, “Just like they all said, we had all come up with this idea that we wanted to help other people this year and come up with a plan to raise money for anyone who had cancer.”
Kara Whitley, mother of Courtland Whitley, said she was surprised the boys came up with the plan.
“These boys are very active in their churches and very active in the community. They’ve always very outgoing personalities. They like to volunteer and help,” she said. “I think it was very mature of them to think, ‘Well, we have enough. Let’s think of something we can do to give back to others.’ I think a common thread between all of them was that they’ve all experienced somebody that they love go through cancer. … I was surprised at how much money they raised, though. I would have never though they would have raised that much money at all.”
Asked about her first reaction to the boys’ plan, April Schmidt said, “Just pride in all of them. They’re a good group of boys. They’ve known each other since kindergarten. They just seem to always want to do the right thing.”