Alex Baker’s decision to ask for donations rather than presents for his birthday ended up making a bigger impact than the 10-year-old realized
An Atlanta boy’s decision to ask for donations rather than presents for his birthday ended up making a bigger impact than he realized.
When Alex Baker celebrated his 10th birthday last month, his mom, Cat Baker, asked what he wanted as a present. Rather than coming up with something he wanted for himself, Alex said he had “everything he needed” and suggested that loved ones donate to charity instead.
Through the fundraising site Pledge, Alex raised money for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a hospital that took care of him during repeated bouts of croup. In total, he ended up raising $250 — but what neither he nor his family realized at the time was that his birthday donation pushed Pledge’s total fundraising over the $100 million mark.
“He was overwhelmed,” Cat, 39, tells PEOPLE. “I don't think he really had an idea that, in his eyes, his little self could make a big impact like that."
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
In honor of Alex’s milestone donation on behalf of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Pledge also made an extra donation to the hospital. The $2,500 check was presented by Alex and Pledge CEO James Citron.
“As his parents, we are extremely proud of the way he thinks of others,” Cat says on behalf of herself and husband Leigh, 46. “It was just wonderful to see that he came up with this on his own. Nobody told him to do any of this, so as a parent that was a big score.”
The proud mom tells PEOPLE that she has always taught both Alex and her daughter Vicky, 8, the importance of giving back.
“We're not wealthy at all, but we have everything that we could possibly want and more because there is so much poverty right outside our door. So I just need my children to understand,” she says.
“You just need to be grateful for what you have. And it doesn't matter if you have a lot or not, you always need to give back where you can," Cat adds. "And then what he got out of that, the experience was for him. That's what he earned with his selflessness. And that was the perfect lesson to be learned here.”
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.