Young man foregoes birthday gifts for Toys for Tots

Sometimes, the very best gifts cannot be wrapped with shimmery paper and ribbon.  Sometimes they are little nudges that reveal a child’s love and compassion.

During a recent visit to the Serenity Beauty Spa in DuBois, Tara Kramer learned that the owner, Shelly Kiehlmeier, wanted to help with the local Toys for Tots drive.

Kiehlmeier shared with Kramer that the budget for Toys for Tots was cut in half at a time when requests have substantially increased.

Kramer was more than willing to assist.

“We wanted to do something different for our son Spencer’s eighth birthday this year and this was the perfect answer,” said Kramer.

“I was like, ‘Yes, I do (want to give gifts)’ because there are kids out there who don’t have toys or maybe they just have one toy and they want to have another toy to play with,” said Spencer while talking to his mom about the idea.  

With his mom’s help, Spencer started collecting toys.

Kramer typed letters to give to Spencer’s second grade teacher at DuBois Central Catholic. Spencer then passed the letters out and his classmates helped with the donations.

When asked how he feels about delivering the toys, Spencer said, “I am very happy with what I am doing!”

“It was very unselfish of Spencer to want to forego birthday presents to offer Christmas gifts to children he did not know,” said Kiehlmeier. “I was very honored to be a part of it all. Overall, the collection was very successful.”

The monetary donations Kiehlmeier received also benefited Toys for Tots.

The basic mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Program is to collect new unwrapped toys and distribute those toys to less fortunate children at Christmas, according to the Toys for Tots website. The primary goal of Marine Toys for Tots is, through the gift of a new toy, help bring the joy of Christmas and send a message of hope to America’s less fortunate children. Presently, the Marine Toys for Tots Program distributes an average of 18 million toys to 7 million less fortunate children annually.


Posted in News.