Uplifting News and Stories Gleaned from the Web

Local Boy Uses Birthday To Help Children In Africa

New Lenox 10-Year-Old Raising Money To Buy Malaria Bed Nets For Kids



Reporting

Mai Martinez

NEW LENOX, Ill. (CBS) ―
Many children get multiple gifts from friends and family on their
birthday, but one New Lenox boy is hoping to give the gift of life to
kids a world away.


CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports Ryan Skarnulis’ birthday party is actually a "charity party" benefiting Malaria No More, an organization that gives bed nets to children in Africa to help protect them from malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

When Skarnulis learned a child dies every 30 seconds from malaria, he knew he had to help. He says the reason was simple.

"Because
I have everything I need, and a family that loves me and not everyone
has everything they need so I’m deciding to give other people what they
need," the 10-year-old said.


It’s not the first time Skarnulis
has given up a traditional birthday party for a charity. Last year, for
his 9th birthday, Skarnulis asked his friends and family to donate
books for Reach Out and Read Illinois. He ended up collecting more than
6,000 books.


Skarnulis says he hopes other kids his age will follow his lead and help those less fortunate.

"Helping other people is better than being selfish and greedy," he said.

When
Skarnulis came up with idea to help Malaria No More, he wanted to raise
a $1,000 to buy 100 bed nets, but if the success of this year’s party
is anything like last year’s, he’ll likely exceed that number.


His parents couldn’t be prouder.

"With
children they just help you open your eyes, and that’s exactly what
Ryan has done for us," said his mother, Jana Skarnulis.


And Skarnulis hopes to keep doing it for years to come. He’s already considering charities he can help next year.

(© MMVIII, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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