November 6, 2015

5-Year-Old Boy’s Piggy-Bank Gift Grows to $4,800

, communication director, Washington Conference

Brody impatiently waited while his mom typed information about a school auction on her computer.

At age 5, it is often hard to wait and equally hard when you just want your mom’s attention.

“Mom, why do you have to do all this work for the auction?” Brody said.The photo of Brady's original donation that his mother posted on Facebook.

His mother, VonniJo Webb, turned from a desk filled with stacks of notes and donation descriptions to explain how the auction items would help raise money for Skagit Adventist Academy, their local Adventist K-12 campus in Burlington in the U.S. state of Washington.

Brody listened and then left the room.

Webb continued her auction work until Brody came back into the room toting his nearly empty piggy-bank jar.

“Now you can be done with your work,” Brody said as he set the jar filled with just a handful of coins on the desk. “I want to donate my piggy bank to the auction to help you and my future school.”

News of the donation quickly spread, capturing the imagination of Brody’s sister, family friends, and complete strangers who wanted to show a similar sacrificial spirit for the cause of Seventh-day Adventist education. Brody’s piggy bank gift to help his mom finish her work faster has resulted in more than $4,800 in donations to his future school — a place where he’s not even enrolled yet.Brady with his piggy-bank jar as its collection of coins started growing.

“Brody wanted to help me get done quicker with all my items, and now it’s grown into so much more,” Webb said in an e-mail interview. “I’m a very proud mama, and he’s pretty excited, too!”

People Match Brody’s Donation

When Brody’s sister, Maddisyn, came home from school that first day and heard about Brody’s coin donation, she decided to do the same. As their mother recounted later, the brother and sister “emptied the whole house and both cars of all our loose change to try and fill his jar for the school.”

Webb wrote about her children’s act of kindness in a Facebook post that generated likes, comments and “Brody Matches” from inspired donors. Brody’s grandmother, Joan Smith, dropped off “lots of quarters” as did other men, women, and children that Brody and his mother know, Webb said.

Pat Grant, an auctioneer for the school community, was inspired by Brody’s generosity and donated $300. 

Scott Raines, a salesman from Ferndale, Washington, also saw the Facebook post.

Brody Webb's initial $313 coin collection from family and friends turned into $2,015 in matched gifts at the school auction. The “Brody Matches” are continuing to add up.

He offered to match Brody’s piggy bank on the night of the auction, and challenged his friends to do the same.

A local ophthalmologist, Dan Siapco, dropped off his filled coin jar at the school with a note for Brody, reading: “Your generosity inspired me to donate my piggy bank as well. Thank you for being a cheerful giver!”

Auction Night and Beyond

A week after he started his coin drive, Brody brought his filled piggy bank jar to the school auction on Nov. 1. He presented $313 in coins. Local donors fulfilled their pledges to match his piggy bank. When the coins and donations were counted the next day, the value of Brody’s original jar registered at a stunning $2,015.

Between the coin collection and the auction, Skagit Adventist Academy grossed $63,000 to purchase portable staging for the school gym and to fund phase two of the playground.

The story didn’t end with the auction.

The North Pacific GleanerNow magazine published Brody’s story online. As Brody’s story spread, readers started responding and sending their own “Brody Matches” to the school. The total amount of money raised as of this week is more than $4,800.

“This is unbelievable!” Webb said on Facebook on Wednesday night. “Thank you to everyone who helped my little man reach this amazing goal!”