By Chris Bavender
A few days before Christmas, 5-year-old Jackson Ptacek told his mother, Abbi, that he’d been thinking about something for “a lot of days.”
“He told me he wanted to collect stuffed animals for kids that didn’t have them,” Abbi said. “It came totally out of the blue one evening.”
She asked why he wanted to collect the stuffed animals. Jackson told her he wanted kids to feel happy.
Abbi wasn’t surprised Jackson wanted to help other children.
“He’s a caring little guy and is always trying to make people smile, whether it’s by drawing them a picture, telling a joke or simply being kind,” Abbi said. “He has a huge heart.”
A few days after Christmas, Abbi posted Jackson’s idea on social media for family and friends. She asked people to either donate money so Jackson could shop for stuffed animals or to donate new stuffed animals.
The stuffed animal drive soon had a name — Jackson’s January of Joy.
The stuffed animals will go to the Noblesville Fire Dept. for ambulances for distribution. They’ll also be donated to Fueled for School, a Noblesville organization that provides lunches for students in need.
“As of right now, the plan is to distribute the stuffed animals with the spring break boxes in March,” Abbi said. “They were very appreciative of the offer and inspired by Jackson’s kindness.”
Abbi is proud of her son and his desire to make other kids happy.
“Proud is truly an understatement. What also strikes me is how humble he is about all of this,” she said. “He didn’t come up with the idea to gain any recognition or publicity. However, he gets so excited when we get a check in the mail from family and friends or an Amazon delivery from complete strangers.
“He hasn’t asked to keep any of the stuffed animals for himself as he knows they will make other children happy.”
As of Jan. 17, Jackson had collected 330 stuffed animals.
Jackson’s Amazon wish list can be found at amazon.com/hz/wishlist/ls/3W2WD2ZT0XTVK?ref_=wl_share.’ Or, email [email protected] to donate directly.