9-year-old decides to donate life savings to homeless veterans after watching a YouTube video


Gone are the days when children idolized comic book superheroes or cartoon characters. Now, kids watch and worship YouTube stars who upload new episodes weekly — but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Nine-year-old Nathan Simons of Rock Island, Ill., for example, worried his father, Ethan Simons, with the number of YouTube videos he watched. That opinion changed, however, when the fourth-grader told his father he wanted to help the homeless just as his YouTube heroes have.

“I told my dad a couple hours later when I got done watching the video, ‘I wanna do what they did,’” Nathan told local ABC affiliate WQAD

Nathan wanted to withdraw all of the money from his savings account, but his father was hesitant. “There was part of me that almost wanted me to talk him out of it,” Ethan said. “But what kind of lesson am I teaching him if I tell him, ‘No, you shouldn’t be selfless.’”

In a heartfelt gesture, Ethan decided to match his son’s donation.

Nathan withdrew his entire savings, all $150, from his account — leaving a few dollars to keep the account open, and his father matched it for a $300 donation.

Christian Care in Rock Island, where Nathan decided to donate his money, told the young man that shoes, gloves, barbecue sauce and hot sauce were needed. So he and his dad went shopping.

“It feels good,” Nathan said. “I wish I could have it myself, but I have to think about other people sometimes.”

With some extra money, Nathan chose to treat the recipients to soda and a cookie cake, which certainly made their holiday.

“It makes me feel happy and proud of myself,” said the youngster, wise beyond his years. “It’s just hard to give it away sometimes. But I’m thinking … about other people.”

Nathan said he can see himself donating more in the future. If he can’t afford the well-needed gifts, he said he’s more than willing to donate his time. The recipients of his gifts are veterans, and his big sister is a proud member of the Marines. 

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