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Palo Alto boy raises money to help homeless

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A Palo Alto boy is showing us the true spirit of the holiday season by collecting and donating gift cards to homeless people.

A 10-year-old Palo Alto boy is showing us the true spirit of the holiday season by collecting and then donating gift cards to homeless people.

Benjamin Laroy handed out those gift cards on Tuesday.

This got a lot bigger than expected and he told ABC7 News that he loves the reaction he's getting.

Two days before Christmas, Benjamin is spending time filling out holiday cards for strangers who are homeless. "On the card it says dear neighbor, to give out a little message, so they can know dear neighbors, so it shows they permanently live here as a neighbor," he said.

Benjamin is tucking something special into the notes - gift cards that he collected from restaurants. At first he received them from friends and neighbors, but word about his fundraiser spread quickly and strangers started donating.

So far, he's raised $1,000 which equals to about 80 gift cards. "This is a lot more than I thought, I'd thought I'd get $300 worth of cards and that's it," Benjamin said.

He got the idea watching his mother who is an attorney. She fought against a proposed law that would make it illegal to sleep in a car.

"I saw how they lived and I felt sorry for them, so I decided to get them a little Christmas present or holiday present.

The moment he had been waiting for came Tuesday morning when he started handing out the gift cards in downtown Palo Alto. "Looking forward to seeing them, seeing their faces when they open it, when they get it, be really happy. I'm hoping that they'll feel like Palo Alto cares a little bit more about them," he said.

Benjamin says he has learned that Christmas is about more than just receiving and is thinking about doing this again on Easter.

Related Topics:
societyholidayhomelessgiftschildrenchristmasspirit of givingPalo Alto
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