KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – A local boy is using his own birthday to help sick children in need. It’s a heartwarming idea and you can help, too.
Ryder Clay is like most 10-year-olds; he’s already thinking about his birthday even though it’s not until the end of June. The only difference is he wants his presents to go to cancer patients at St. Jude’s.
Ryder and his mom Leanne Clay have been toy shopping on a budget ever since she asked him a simple question.
“I asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday thinking he would say, ‘I want a pool party’ and he said, ‘I want to buy toys for kids with cancer,'” Leanne said.
“Well, I like to help people because I like to make people smile,” Ryder explained.
Coming up with the idea was the simplest part of his project. After all, he recently won Young Philanthropist of the Year for KC’s Mid-America Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
The toughest part for the 4th grader at Academie Lafayette was coming up with the cash.
It’s three months in and he’s earned more than $400 by offering to help his Hyde Park neighbors and his family and friends.
While shopping, Ryder and his mom realized they will have a lot of toys to haul seven and a half hours away. So, Leanne made a call to an airline and Southwest told her they would deliver all the toys for free.
After learning that, they decided they will make the trip as well and hand deliver each gift. Ryder said, “I feel really happy for them to just think for a little bit that ‘I actually got a toy’ and not think ‘I’m sick, I have cancer.'”
Which proves that, even on your birthday, it’s better to give than to receive.
“It makes me really proud as a mom to see him want to help other people,” Leanne said.
Until now, she hasn’t let Ryder in on a secret, though. She’s set up a GoFundMe to help him raise even more money. Their goal is $1,000 dollars. It can be found here.
They’ll deliver the toys at St. Jude’s on June 29. Ryder will turn 11 years old the next day.
By Zoe Brown & Joe Chiodo, KCTV