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Boy Says “No Thanks” To Birthday Gifts And Asks To Feed Hungry Strangers Instead.

Belmond Schwartz with donations

Belmond Schwartz is not your average kid.

Most kids look forward to celebrating their birthday because they get lots of presents, cake, and maybe even a party with their friends, but Belmond’s goals are a bit different. Instead of asking for a traditional birthday celebration, the 9-year-old from Mansfield, Massachusetts only wants to feed the hungry.

A few years ago, Belmond and his family took a trip to California, and seeing the large homeless population there left a lasting mark on his heart.

“I saw tents on the streets and I had never seen them before in my life,” Belmond explained. “So I asked parents what it was and they told me that people couldn’t afford to live, so they had to live in tents and they didn’t have very much.”

When he learned that there are hungry and unhoused people right in his own home state, he vowed to do what he can to help. Last year, in lieu of birthday gifts, he asked for donations of food and cash to donate to local food charities. His initiative was such a big hit, he decided to make it “bigger and better” this year!

In honor of his 9th birthday, which happens to be right around Thanksgiving, Belmond vowed to “help people who don’t have very much.” Parents Steven and Lily Schwartz helped him start a nonprofit called Belmond’s Wish, and their first-ever fundraising event took place in October.

Hundreds of people attended, and together, they doubled what they raised last year. In they end, they raised $4,000 and collected two tons (that’s 4,000 pounds) of food!

In the weeks before Thanksgiving, when food pantries are the hardest-hit, Belmond was able to deliver all of the cash and food he’d helped collect to local food banks in Mansfield and the neighboring town of Easton. Thanks to this 4th grade student, dozens of families will have food on the table this holiday season.

Dad Steven said their son’s good deed was “incredibly fulfilling.”

“It was really amazing to see that everybody believed in this little kid and he gave up his birthday,” mom Lily agreed. “He believes if he can give up a little, then you can give a little. And if we all give a little, then it’ll be a lot.”

Next year, Belmond and his family plan to continue with their mission to fill the food banks, and naturally, it will be even “bigger and better” than this year! What an outstanding young man. We applaud his efforts to feed the hungry in his community.

Share this story to thank Belmond for thinking of others before himself.

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