LAKELAND, Fla. (WTSP) -- Ethan Chapman had two wishes for his eighth birthday: a roller skating party and lots of presents. Both came true.
Ethan’s favorite gift was a teddy bear. He wouldn’t let go of it, because he likes it so much. That's what made giving it away so difficult.
In fact, Ethan gave away all of his presents. Instead of asking for presents for himself, he decided to collect gifts for the Lakeland Police Department’s “Cops for Kids” toy drive.
“Because some kids in Lakeland don't have toys,” he said.
The idea came when Ethan and his mom, Ginnie, were at the local dry cleaner. They saw posters for the toy drive. Before mom knew it, Ethan was asking if he could collect gifts for them, instead of himself.
“My heart melted of course,” she explained. “I was very proud of him, and I told him absolutely.”
The department has seen lots of acts of kindness during the holidays, but never anything like this.
“It's amazing,” Sgt. Gary Gross said. “You just don't see that today.”
Ethan’s mom said this birthday taught him an important lesson.
“To focus less on himself and more on other people, and I think that's a big thing that a lot of adults and kids need to learn,” she said.
Sometimes it just takes a little kid to teach us that lesson.
Ethan really wants you to donate, too. The Lakeland Police Department is collecting toys through Dec. 7.