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5-Year-Old Forgoes Birthday Gifts For Global Altruism

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A 5-year-old St. Paul boy named Liam Schmalstieg-March didn’t want the typical birthday gifts.

Instead, the pre-schooler wanted his party guests to give to an orphanage in Africa.

And now the boy’s gesture unexpectedly have come full circle.

Inside his birthday invitation was a hand-written note telling those nine guests he didn’t want any presents.


“Please give it to Light of Hope, a school in Africa where some mothers die. And they don’t have much. Love, Liam.”

The money donated will go to purchasing chickens so students can bring home eggs to their families.

Appreciative of the gesture, the students sent Liam back a little something holding a sign that read, “Happy Birthday, Liam!”

“I want him to grow up to be somebody who’s aware of the world and aware of other people,” his mother Kimara Schmalstieg-March said. “And it’s a good start.”

When Liam initially saw the picture, his mother said not only was he awe-struck, he started to cry, too.

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