Kid celebrates birthday by donating toys

The 11-year-old asks friends to give him toys and books for the Pediatric Unit at Sutter Roseville Medical Center
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Like most kids, Jack Laird of Rocklin wanted to have a birthday party to celebrate turning 11 years old. But, unlike lots of other kids, he didn’t want his friends to give him presents. He felt he already had enough toys and games. So Jack thought of another idea. He issued party invitations requesting that in lieu of presents for himself, his friends bring books or toys suitable for children six months to 16 years old that he could donate to the Pediatric Unit at Sutter Roseville Medical Center. Jack celebrated his birthday June 27 and was happy to see that his friends complied with his wishes and contributed a variety of books, games and toys. Earlier this month, Jack donated all the gifts to the Pediatric Unit. One lucky recipient was Sutter Roseville pediatric patient Riley Vasquez, who was pleasantly surprised with a Barbie doll. “Kids can have fun with the toys and games,” Jack said. “I hope I’ll get invited to birthday parties where I can buy gifts for kids in the hospital or for kids in need.” He got the idea for donating to the medical center after visiting two friends, on separate occasions, who experienced lengthy stays in hospitals. He noticed there wasn’t much to keep his friends or their siblings occupied. Jack is no stranger to helping others. One time, he and his fellow classmates, sent helpful items to children in Africa. As a member of Bayside Church in Granite Bay, he participates in two annual fundraisers, including Loose Change to Loosen the Chains. For this cause, Jack collects lose change from his allowance, and family and friends, and donates the money. One time, he raised $50 in loose change, which was no small feat. ~Sena Cristian