By Jolee Huber
Mohawk Trails fourth-grader Ryan Northrop donated more than 6,000 Pokemon cards to children in need during the recent holiday season.
During the course of eight months, Ryan’s enthusiasm led his friends at after-school care and summer camp to help as well. They collected Pokemon cards in a large box that he decorated with pictures of Pikachu and a Pokemon ball.
“Pokemon helped me learn math, and it’s really fun. I wanted other kids to have fun with Pokemon cards, too,” Northrop said.
Northrop said he and his family had participated in the Children’s Bureau’s Hope For The Holidays for the past several years, so he knew that they could help get the Pokemon cards to kids who would enjoy them.
The Children’s Bureau annually serves more than 43,000 children, providing food, shelter, clothing and toys. Each year, the Children’s Bureau collects toys from the community through its Hope For The Holidays program. This year, more than 800 kids were directly sponsored through the program.
Additional children in the Children’s Bureau network also received gifts that were personally selected for them by bureau caseworkers. Ryan’s Pokemon cards were set to be distributed to kids in Indiana.
“I helped a caseworker shop for a 9-year-old boy, and we pulled several packs (of Pokemon cards) out for him. I am sure he will be delighted,” said Joli Heavin, director of development at Children’s Bureau. “We are very grateful for Ryan’s giving spirit.”
Northrop and his family hope that others will be inspired by his generosity and will want to help children in need. For information about volunteering or donating new and gently used items to the Children’s Bureau, visit childrensbureau.org.