By Hayley Fedor
This year, as Valrico Elementary student Logan Pinner celebrated his 10th birthday, instead of asking for the newest toys on the market or the best birthday party on the block, he decided to do something bigger than himself; Logan decided to use his birthday to collect donations for Ronald McDonald House Charities as a way to give back to others in place of receiving birthday gifts.
With the help of his mother, Heidi Pinner, Logan set up an Amazon Wish List, including items like books, gift cards, toys and even a TV to be donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Tampa Bay.
“He sees through his heart, I think,” said Heidi, “He encourages us to do better and be more compassionate, so I wasn’t surprised that he wanted to help, just really proud that he chose to do it.”
On April 7, the day of Logan’s birthday, Caspers Company made a special visit to Valrico Elementary to surprise Logan with gifts and recognition to thank him for his selfless and generous contribution to the Ronald McDonald House. During the small celebration, Logan was awarded a Smile Ambassador T-shirt, representing his noble character, and a certificate to receive free Happy Meals for a year.
When it came to choosing Ronald McDonald House as his birthday charity, Logan said, “They go there because they have family members in the hospital that are sick. … I felt bad for them and I don’t really need anything, so I just wanted to give them stuff.”
Much of Logan’s compassion for the families in Ronald McDonald House comes from his own experience a few short years ago when he received emergency surgery to remove his appendix two days before Christmas.
“I think some of his empathy comes from experiencing that and knowing that what these families are going through is so much more challenging and hard,” said Heidi.
Through Logan’s efforts to use his birthday as a way to give back to the Ronald McDonald House of Tampa Bay, over 50 items, worth more than $1,000 altogether, were donated.
Although Logan’s birthday fundraiser has since ended, you can still help. To find out more about the local Ronald McDonald House Charities and how to become involved or donate, visit rmhctampabay.org.