When 8-year-old Jeffrey Holz walked into the morning assembly at the Community Christian School in Bradenton, he had no idea what to expect.
Jeffrey became a small celebrity at the school in recent weeks because of an unexpected act of kindness on his part. Jeffrey had saved up $100 to buy a new Lego set, but when he heard about a fundraiser for Richard Gallop, a 17-year-old senior at the school with cancer, Jeffrey gave up the Lego set in order to help pay for his schoolmate’s chemotherapy.
At Tuesday morning’s assembly, officials from Legoland Florida Resort rewarded Jeffrey’s generosity by presenting him with two sets of Legos and tickets to Legoland.
“I felt like I needed to,” said Jeffrey, when asked why he gave his money to pay for another student’s treatment.
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I felt like I needed to.
Second-grade student Jeffrey Holz on why he gave away $100 to a student at his school with cancer.
His teacher, Mary Beth Porch, said Jeffrey’s decision to give away money saved up for a toy was not typical second-grader behavior.
“I was very surprised. It’s very unselfish thing for a second-grader to do,” Porch said. “But I do know his character, and he’s a helpful child. He thinks of others, he loves to be a helper and he’s not a selfish child in any way.”
Richard, who is in the midst of a year and a half of chemotherapy as he battles non-Hodgkins lymphoma, was also honored at Tuesday’s assembly.
Representatives from Legoland Florida Resort presented him with four passes to the Arnold Palmer Invitational PGA tournament and $300 worth of golf accessories, courtesy of Coca-Cola.
One thing I had been worried about was the cost of college, in addition to having to pay for cancer treatment. Now that is one less thing to deal with.
But the biggest gift for Richard came in the form of admission to Southeastern University and funds to pay for school. Officials from the school announced to the gathered student body Richard’s acceptance and promised a substantial scholarship.
“One thing I had been worried about was the cost of college, in addition to having to pay for cancer treatment,” Richard said. “Now that is one less thing to deal with.”
Richard said Jeffrey’s generosity took him by surprise.
“I was kind of amazed because I’d never met this second-grader before in my life, but he was actually willing to give me money to help me with my cancer treatments and support me through this difficult time,” Gallop said. “We’ve become friends.”
Jeffrey’s father, Jim Holz, described the assembly as a “proud parent moment.”
“He gave all he had to someone he’s never even met. It just shows his heart,” Holz said. “We asked him if he knew exactly what (he was doing), and he was like, ‘Yeah, it’s no big deal. His fight against cancer is more important than a Lego set. I’ll just start saving again.’”