JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The holidays are known as the season of giving, and one Jonesboro boy is learning to give back at an early age.
Slade Kibler turned nine in November, and, for the second year in a row, he asked for donations rather than presents for his birthday. "It felt good," Kibler said about giving to kids less fortunate than him.
He received a plaque from City Youth Ministries Tuesday afternoon. The group recognized Kibler for his consistent selflessness at such a young age.
"I didn't want my friends to bring presents," Kibler said. "I wanted them to bring money for City Youth Ministries."
The nine year old collected more than $250, a little less than his birthday haul last year.
"Last year, I collected like $330, around there," Kibler said.
His father, Ryan, previously gave to City Youth through his job, but he wanted to see how his son felt about doing something charitable. He tested him, and says he is proud of the results.
"It's awesome to have a son that's willing to give up gifts to help the community he lives in," Ryan Kibler said. "It really touched my heart to see a young man not think of himself because, when you're nine, that's what you do."
The donations will sponsor one child for one year through Operation 365. City Youth Ministries offer activities for more than 800 "at-risk" children year-round.
"He doesn't realize that that one birthday party made it special for a kid all year long, and I think that's awesome," his father said.
Kibler already aspires to give more. He says he hopes to continue collecting donations instead of getting presents on his birthday. He even inspired his younger brother to do the same thing.
"Because it helps people play and learn about God and eat, and I have money for them," he added.