Parents don’t generally think of YouTubers as role models, but one dad might be reconsidering that.
As WQAD reports, 9-year-old Nathan Simons of Rock Island, Illinois likes watching YouTube videos. After seeing a few Christmas-themed videos in which well-known YouTube creators donated thousands of dollars to the homeless, even calling homeless shelters to ask for shopping lists, Nathan was inspired.
Nathan told WQAD, “I told my dad a couple hours later when I got done watching the video, ‘I wanna do what they did.'”
At first, Ethan Simons wasn’t sure about his son’s plan to take all of his money out of the bank and spend it shopping for a homeless shelter. Ethan told WQAD:
“There was part of me that almost wanted me to talk him out of him. But what kind of lesson am I teaching him if I tell him, ‘No, you shouldn’t be selfless.'”
So rather than discourage Nathan, his dad helped it happen. Ethan promised to match his son’s donation and took the boy to the bank so Nathan could withdraw his life savings — about $150.
Armed with a shopping list Nathan put together by calling the shelter ahead of time, Nathan and Ethan went to a local Walmart and filled their cart with necessities. In all, they spent about $300 on everything from sneakers to condiments. He told WQAD:
“It feels good. I wish I could have it myself, but I have to think about other people sometimes.”
Once they got everything on the list, Nathan added a few goodies to the cart like cookies and cake. He wanted to give the residents of the shelter a way to celebrate the New Year.
Then, dad and son headed to Christian Care to deliver their donation. The family picked that particular shelter because Nathan’s older sister is a marine and he wanted to do something special for veterans during the holidays.
At the shelter, the Development Coordinator praised Nathan for his generosity, telling WQAD, “At 9-years-old, to be feeling that kind of compassion for the work we do and for what’s going on in his community is pretty amazing.”
Ethan also complimented his son on doing a good thing and told him, “Not many people can say they emptied their savings account and went shopping for a homeless shelter.”
Nathan told WQAD that he isn’t done helping others. In the future, he would consider doing it all over again or volunteering:
“It makes me feel happy and proud of myself. It’s just hard to give it away sometimes. But I’m thinking … about other people.”