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Meet Benjamin

I've heard that it pretty much sucks to have a December birthday. To that I say, "Waaaaah. Waaaaah. Waaaaah," because January is just like December except without the sparkly stuff and cheer. Us January babies still end up with combined birthday and Christmas gifts, after all.

I digress.

This isn't about whining about birthdays being lame. It's about how sometimes people make birthdays magical.

This is Benjamin.

Benjamin is a December baby. Except, you know, he's not really a baby anymore. In fact, he *just* turned 8 years old. And that basket full of games he's sitting next to? Those are his birthday presents.

Well, not really.

But sort of.

Benjamin's mom contacted me about a month ago to ask if there was a way that Benjamin could donate his birthday presents to Christmas Crazy.

Hold on. Let me repeat that. Benjamin wanted to donate his birthday presents to Christmas Crazy.

So, that's what he did. He asked his friends to bring a toy he could donate instead of collecting as many gifts for himself as he could when he had a birthday party last week. His friends came through by showing up with what I would guess is about $300 worth of toys and games.

I got to meet Benjamin and his mom and little brother on Friday because they wanted to deliver that pile of toys to Womansplace. They wanted to see a difference being made. They wanted to give.

So, that's what they did. Instead of complaining about gifts being combined or his birthday getting overlooked in the holiday rush, Benjamin happily hauled a bunch of toys to Womansplace so that kids who wouldn't otherwise get a gift for Christmas can find a little joy under the tree next week. Then he stood in the middle of a giant pile of toys and helped us sort them in between moments of running around and playing and generally being a really happy little man.

Benjamin, you are amazing. Thank you for your generosity and awesomeness and for putting up with my requests for a zillion photographs of you. And thanks for being you.

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Reader Comments (48)

Benjamin is what is right with the world. Thanks for sharing this awesome kid with us.

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErinPatricia

More tears! Such an amazing story. The world needs more Benjamins, that is for sure.

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

What a kid. He and his parents are doing a lot of things right.

December 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle Smiles

What an amazing kid. The future doesn't look so bleak with hearts like that.

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTerra

What a sweetie!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjdp

Benjamin is a hero, and his mom's heart must be bursting with pride!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen

It was our pleasure to help with this wonderful charity that helps make Christmas brighter for other children. I am very proud of my son and his awesome friends for doing this. We could not have donated as much if it were not for his friends!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Kudos to Benjamin! What a great thing to do!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarb

Way to go Benjamin! It is children like you that make this world a better place! You rock

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTracy

What a wonderful kid!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGina

Benjamin, between us December babies (I am even a Christmas baby with bday on Dec 25): YOU ARE ROCK!!!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

I needed an example of what is right in the world today. Thank you, Benjamin, for reminding us all of what the season is truly about. May you and your family be blessed.

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNancy

Benjamin is stinkin' awesome.

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFireMom

Benjamin, you are an awesome kid! I am so glad to know there are kids like you out there, who know the real meaning of Christmas. Thank you to your and your friends who made Christmas merry for others in need.

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Benjamin, you totally just rocked my face off. You are the most awesome kid. You are a special light in this world. Thanks, Benjamin!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAimee Carter

Heather, you and Benjamin are what is right with this world. May his friends remember his act of selflessness and may he be a trend setter in his generation!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMimi

Dude, you are the man!!! Great job!!!!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJimi

Benjamin, you are awesome in an awesome way! Thank you for being a bright spot in my day.

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Simply wonderful!!!!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

Benjamin is awesome, in every way! He has a heart of gold and is loving and sweet. So proud he is my nephew. And so proud that his Mom and Dad are raising their family in the way of charity and selfless love. God has brought our family many obstacles to overcome to make us stronger in the last few years, giving us many opportunities to set examples, we are grateful for happy, healthy children and each other. God has blessed us with all we need, and Ben knows this, which is why he knows how important it is to give to those who don't have what they need. Thanks for showing the world our Ben, I hope it inspires others to give unselfishly as he did.

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeidi

Benjamin, a lot of people say, "It's better to give than receive," but you actually did it! You made a lot of people very happy and proud, including those of us who were lucky enough to read about you. Thank you for the gift of joy you gave to all of us!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

Benjamin, you are absolutely amazing. On behalf of Womansplace THANK YOU for doing this!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjules

What an incredible kid. Thanks for sharing this story and thank you Benjamin for being you!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAli

Ben it was great to meet you on Friday! Juliana had lots of fun playing with you. Thanks for donating your birthday presents, it was a very selfless thing to do!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

Benjamin - may you always have the heart of pure gold that you displayed this year on your birthday. I hope every year on your day you remember that once (and I don't care if this is the ONLY time you do it) you made a difference to another soul. And you touched mine.

To Benjamin's mom - Good job! It takes a special momma to raise a special child.

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThe Mommy

Benjamin, you have made a difference! Not only with the families that will directly benefit from your donations, but with all of us as well. I am inspired by your kind act and will also be making a donation here in my city. Thank you for the reminder that it's easy to do what is good and what is right.
Happy Birthday Benjamin!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDi

That is amazing, Benjamin. You just made a grown woman cry a little.

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterScullyPA

Such an amazing little man....he is why the world will always end up being a better place! Thank you Benjamin!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

What a heart warming story! Gives me hope for our future leaders of our country. Way to go, Ben! I hope you inspire others, both kids AND grown ups, with your generosity! May we all learn from your wisdom, and pay it forward. :-)

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDina

My birthday is December 23. Thanks for inspiring me to help someone instead of feeling sorry for myself, Benjamin!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEleanor's Trousers

What an amazing family! They must be so proud of Benjamin. Thank you for raising such a selfless young man. Happy birthday, Benjamin! You're awesome!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDudders

What an awesome kid!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulia

Incredible kid! His parents should be very proud!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle S

That is awesome!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

It was great to meet you in person Friday Benjamin. Impressive to give so much, you set one heck of an example, kid! Merry Christmas!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermindymin

Hope for the future, that's what that is right there. Amazing.

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJennoftheroof

Way to be Awesome, Benjamin! My daughter's birthday is December 29th, and she will be 6 this year. I'm going to tell her about the sweet boy you are, and I hope she makes the same choice as you. Maybe not this year (she is only 5, remember!), but hopefully next year when she turns 7, she'll use you as her inspiration!

Benjamin you are one fantastic young man. Your kindness and generosity touched me.

To Benjamin's parents: You are doing a wonderful job with your son

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkatsbynp

Seriously awesome - great to hear that someone so young is aware of and willing to help kids that don't have the same opportunities as themselves. I've heard of some kids donating an old gift when it's their birthday, but this takes it to a completely different level. Way to go, Benjamin!

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBecki D

Happy Birthday Benjamin!! You are an awesome little boy and your story made me smile. :)

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmber K.

Dear Benjamin,

Happy Birthday! I am a December baby too, December 21. What you did was such an awesome thing. It makes me so proud to have a person like you on our world. I have three kids, two boys ages 10 and 8 and a little girl who is almost 6. I will show them this blog and story and hopefully they will learn from you. I know next year, we will be contacting Michelle and finding ways to help.

December 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCorrie

What an inspiring little guy! Such generosity at such a young age. Impressive.

December 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

A few more people like you and Benjamin would go a long way in making this world a much much better place!
Thank you Benjamin, for spreading such Christmas cheer and magic for all of us! What you did makes you no less wonderful than the real Santa for those kids. Your parents must be, and should be, very very proud of you! All of us are, too...

Wish you a very happy birthday, Benjamin. May you be blessed in a mighty way.

December 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmandeep

Benjamin, you are a light in the world, my friend! Your generosity is amazing!

December 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterrasager

Hey Benjamin! You and what you did for others is seriously awesome, kiddo. And don't ever forget it!

December 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJulieGong

That is a fantastic story to read. His parents are doing a great job raising a generous kid.

Thanks, Benjamin, for restoring the faith we have for future generations. You done good, kid.

December 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterred pen mama

benjamin, you made my heart so happy when i read your story. THANK YOU for being the change, for making a difference. you rock! hard!

December 20, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterhello haha narf


December 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKevin
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