A Very Sweet Soul
Story courtesy of Jenny Amaral/The Daily Item
For most 8 year olds, the highlight of celebrating a birthday is tearing open countless presents from family and friends. But that was not the case for one Lynnfield boy, who insisted he didn’t want all the “unnecessary presents,” or at least not for himself.
Jacob Silacci, a “very sweet soul,” as his parents Kimberly and Gary referred to him, decided to ask for donations from gift givers to benefit a local charitable organization, The Home for Little Wanderers, in lieu of toys and games.
“I felt bad for the other kids that didn’t really have the toys that we have, or like, enough shelter or furniture and stuff,” said the young philanthropist.
Jacob raised over $250 in his efforts last month, all of which went directly to his charity of choice. “Sometimes kids get many gifts that aren’t always the things they want or even need,” said his mother Kim. “So, I said, instead of you getting gifts, why don’t you give them to some other kids? He felt great about it. He just couldn’t have been more proud of himself.”
Lisa Rowan-Gillis, vice president of Development and Public Relations at the Home, said that teaching young children to perform great acts of kindness, such as this, is an important life skill. “Philanthropy starts young,” she said. “Learning to help others at an early age truly makes a difference because children like Jacob are our future generation of philanthropists.”
Since Jacob’s birthday, his mother said that several of his friends have opted to do the same on their special day. “It’s kind of neat because people are putting their own twists on it,” she said. “In general, I’ve heard lots of positive things. A — it’s a lot easier for (parents) to write a check, and, B — it’s more meaningful all the way around.”
Jacob said he plans to do this again next year and hopes to be able to help in other ways as well. His mother, who’s been active in several of her own philanthropic adventures, couldn’t be more pleased. “Whatever your situation in life, there’s almost always someone who has it a little more tougher than you do,” she said, adding that many children in her community don’t necessarily appreciate what they have. “Not every kid gets a new pair of sneakers each month,” she said. “I really think that getting kids to understand about donating and giving back if you can when you’re young really makes a difference.”
And Jacob agrees. “I think it would be an excellent idea for more people to donate.”