When Aiden Fouhy was in the second grade, he raised bottle calves—very young orphaned calves that are bottle-fed because they’re too young to train—over the summer on his family’s ranch to sell. As he prepared to sell his first bottle calf, his parents discussed giving a portion of his money to charity. Aiden agreed, he was amazed at the amount of money he had earned and realized that the funds might be better used elsewhere,“…I thought I might be a bit too young for all this money. So I thought I might give a bit of it away” Aiden said.
Due to his love of reading, Aiden decided that he wanted to purchase books and donate them to a Children’s Hospital. Three years later, and Aiden’s still faithfully collecting books to donate to children’s hospitals, thanks to his very own Kids Books Charity.
When Aiden first started buying books to donate, he was able to purchase 76 books and CD players with his earnings to give kids at St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, MT. He made sure to obtain a range of books for kids of all ages along with accompanying CDs, just in case any of the children weren’t up to reading. He also designed stickers to go in each book, along with a little note that said, “I hope you like this book and it helps you feel better. From a third grade boy in a small town in Montana. I hope this book blesses your day.”
When Aiden’s mom Cindy originally challenged him to give a portion of his proceeds to charity, Aiden thought that if he could give books to other kids, he could help them fall in love with reading just like he had. “It’s a wonderful thing,” said Amber Pisk, a registered nurse at St. Vincent, who has helped Aiden each year with the books. Once word spread of Aiden’s charitable efforts, books started showing up on his doorstep as donations, while others began donating money to the cause.
This year, Aiden arrived at St. Vincent’s hospital with 230 new books, ranging from Sandra Boynton board books to Judy Bloom chapter books. Walking up to the pediatric floor with his cart of titles, many adults stop and ask him if he’s read all of them. Aiden replies honestly, he has not, but he’s always eager to share which are his favorites.
Aiden turned the book drive this year into a group effort, getting the help of his entire fifth-grade class to place stickers in each of the books. The whole experience has been a positive one for the whole Fouhy family, and Aiden is eager to keep his charity growing. “His goal is to get it to the point where he’ll need a van to haul all the books,” Cindy Fouhy said.
YouTube Channel: PBS Parents
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h/t Billings Gazette