Benji’s pressies going to help other kids in need
It’s a great sacrifice, to be sure, but young Benjamin Howe in a special gesture is laying-down his toys for his fellow children.
He has just donated all the presents from his school-friends for his seventh birthday to Ronald McDonald House at Orange.
Benjamin invited the whole crew from his Year One cohort at Kinross Wolaroi, plus sports colleagues, Mum's Groups, and friends to his recent party at Flip-Out with the understanding that all presents would go to families staying at the hospital care accommodation on Forest Road.
“We had so many kids coming to the party; he invited the whole school Year One classes, there were 77 children in all,” Benji’s dad, Dr David Howe explained. “We thought, ‘he’s going to get a lot of presents’ from this,” David said.
“So when we first mentioned it, we decided that he can keep all the presents from Mum and Dad and family, but all the others we will donate to Ronald McDonald House,” he explained.
Su and I do a lot of volunteer work with Camp Quality so we thought about how to support others,” David said.
Benji’s Mum, Su said that children can have too many material gifts for their own good: “You know, they get a present, play with it a few times and then it sits there as a dust-getter,” she said.
The idea was a hit with parents coming to the party with a variety of both boys and girls presents given on the day.
“Everyone knew they would be handed on to Ronald McDonald House,” David said. “I think the response shows the goodness of Benji’s friends,” Su added.
Presents ranged from soccer balls, “Nerf” guns to Lego, Board games, and classics like dominoes and a “Barrell of Monkeys” to diaries and even toy boxing gloves and some monies.
“I don’t want to hand-over this one!” Benji said, having second thoughts about one particularly enviable toy.
Rebecca Walsh from Ronald McDonald House said that the gifts would be put to good use over the coming months.
“I think it shows absolutely amazing generosity to support these families,” she said. “We can send each family with a child home with a special gift,” she said. “Small things make such a big difference.”
David also pointed-out the benefit to the giver as well as the receiver of such gestures. “The kids from school as a class get to know about giving, caring and sharing,” he concluded.