Eight-year-old Asks for Donations to Starlight Rather than Presents

Meet Jack who is helping bring happiness to hospitalized children.

September 2, 2016

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Jack is your typical spunky eight-year-old. He loves karate, singing karaoke with his four-year-old sister and above all else, Star Wars Legos. But, something that’s not typical about this fun-loving kid, is that on his seventh birthday, instead of asking for presents, he asked for donations to Starlight. When he turned eight, he did it again.

His gifts, turned into happiness for hospitalized kids.

Two years ago, Jack’s mom, Jen, quickly became aware of all the presents Jack receives throughout the course of a year. She noticed he would play with them once or twice then they would collect dust in the closet.

“He gets little presents when he goes up a reading level or does well in school,” said Jen. “We celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah. So, Jack gets a lot of presents. Jack is a really great, sweet and wonderful kid, but me and my husband, Royce, want to make sure he’s not spoiled, we want to keep him grounded.”

When Jen and Royce approached Jack with the idea of donating his birthday presents to Starlight, she said they pitched it in a way that he recognizes he has a lot of things that not all kids have.

“I told him what Starlight does, that they make kids who are really sick and in the hospital, happy and they have programs for them to make their lives better,” said Jen.

Jack quickly responded “Ya, ya, ya.” He was onboard from the beginning, but he did make sure to ask if he was going to still get Kylo Ren’s Command Shuttle. Jen promised to get him the Star Wars toy he’s been eyeing for months and his grandparents would also get him a gift.

Jack had a wonderful birthday bowling party celebrating with his friends and enjoyed his Star Wars cake.

“My story is ordinary; it’s not like I’m raising hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Jen. “I feel like it’s a very accessible way for any parent to do something like this. I fortunately don’t have a child in the hospital, but the message of giving back, and enhancing your kid’s birthday, is an easy way for others to give back.”

Just a few days after his birthday party, Jack already told his parents he wants to ask for donations to Starlight for his ninth birthday as well.

Thank you so much Jack for your big heart and for raising more than $1,200 for hospitalized kids!

This birthday, bring happiness to sick kids and it’ll be a birthday you’ll always remember.

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