(OWASSO, Okla.) — An Oklahoma boy’s generosity on his birthday has helped a local Toys for Tots drive to gather nearly 500 gifts for needy kids after he told his mother that he wanted to forgo presents for his December birthday, and ask for donations instead.
Chase Rowe of Owasso, Okla. has been a participating with his family in the Toys for Tots drive at the nearby Rejoice Church for the past few years, going with his mom to purchase toys and helping distribute them to the needy. His mom, Tiffany Rowe, told ABC News that when she had a conversation with him this year about what he wanted to do for his eighth birthday on Dec. 17, Chase told her that what he really wanted to do was to give toys to other kids.
“We were discussing with him what we can do for a birthday, when we’re limited on time. We asked him, ‘What do you really want?’ He said he wanted his friends to bring unopened toys to bring to his party to donate,” she said.
Soon a local business, Red Dot Laser Tag, got wind of Chase’s generosity, and decided to donate a mobile laser tag unit for the kids to use at the party. Another local business, Game On Party Truck, followed suit, and on Sunday, Chase’s party was a rousing success.
“We had over 100 kids, and that didn’t include the parents. We had at least 200 people circulated throughout the day,” Tiffany Rowe said.
In total, she said, they collected nearly 500 toys to be donated at the party, where the kids enjoyed popcorn and snow cones — Chase’s only request — and, of course, some cookies.
Rowe said that they welcomed anyone who wanted to come to the event. They circulated flyers to Chase’s classmates, his karate teammates, and through the public schools. She added that Chase is already planning next year’s drive.
“If you ask him what he really wants, he wants kids to get toys for Christmas,” she said. “He’s adamant about that.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Selena Larson and Samuel Burke, CNN
Ian Kerner, CNN
Ivaylo Vezenkov and Lauren del Valle, CNN
Ralph Ellis and Chuck Johnston, CNN