The following incredible story of Will’s birthday gift was submitted to us by his mother, Kristy Lindley:
My son Will is a bit of a hero, I mean everyone thinks that about their kids though right? Will is my youngest child. Our two big girls, Grace and Annabelle, have the most amazingly generous hearts and are always on the look out for ways to improve the world. As a sibling group they have raised money many times for charities; however, this year it was our son William who blew us away with his kindness. I always worried about him being the youngest and as I do baby him at times, I sometimes worry that he will have that youngest child selfishness that can happen in a family unit. I hope this story is the first of many.
This year for Will’s 7th birthday he asked if he could have a whooping big paint fight party, inviting just a few kids……the list grew to 44 children! After I picked myself up off the floor I discussed with Will how this was a LOT of kids and that meant too many gifts, with that many presents we’d be opening them until Christmas, without even batting an eye he said, “Can I have that many friends if I get no presents?” I told him that I would be surprised if anybody listened to that and they would all buy him gifts regardless. Then he asked if he could donate the gifts. I told him that might hurt his friends’ feelings giving away gifts they had bought specifically for him. Finally, he asked if we could get them to buy gifts for others and then donate them. Perfect!! I told him to have a think about who he wanted to help. We have been discussing the possibility of getting a foster child and why children get fostered out to foster homes, so I guess it had been playing on his mind because he said “Mummy, it makes me sad that when foster kids get taken from their homes the very first time they can’t take any of their things, maybe we could get people to donate teddy bears and then we could give them to those kids. I would hate to be in a scary situation without something to cuddle.” The idea was born and the rest has been a bit of a whirlwind.
Everybody LOVED the idea and parents started talking. Soon enough the principal asked if he could put it in the newsletter and ask all of the parents in the school to donate. Some parents didn’t want to go out to buy teddies so they asked if they could donate money instead. Suddenly we had money and teddies pouring in. People are so generous. We are so lucky to live in such a great little community. After finding a great organisation called Foster Care Angels that we could donate to, I contacted Kmart and asked them if we did a shop in one of their stores would it be okay for us to take photos of the shopping spree. Kmart community were quick to get back to me and offered to match dollar for dollar. Will raised a whopping $500 and seeing as Kmart were giving them $500 of stock, the amount then became a huge $1000 and nearly 100 teddies. A meeting with our local Kmart was set up and Will and Kelly from Foster Care Angels took to the shelves. Kelly chose all of the things that were most needed including baby items and small toys to put into care packages. The lovely manager at Kmart also told William that he could chose a gift for himself. Will was so excited. In the end Will and Kelly filled 2 trolleys and Will was exhausted but so happy and proud to have helped so many kids who are in a sad and scary situation.
I so recommend a charity party; this is a birthday Will is never going to forget!!