9-year-old donates life savings to help sick kids

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A 9-year-old’s act of selfless generosity has resulted in a flurry of donations to a children’s hospital in Iowa.

According to the Facebook post shared by the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital, Riley Lafrenz had been saving up his money to buy NFL cards, but he was so moved by “the wave” while watching a Hawkeye game—it happens at the end of the first quarter when fans in Kinnick Stadium wave in unison to children in the hospital—that he wrote a note and sent $34.01 to the hospital.

The heartwarming post had generated more than 3,500 shares, 227 comments and 4,000 reactions as of Wednesday. Numerous commenters also pledged to give money to the hospital.


“Hi! My name is Riley,” he wrote. “The reason I sent the money is that when I watched a Hawkeye football game I saw a kid that had cancer and I felt sad, so now I realized that you need the money more than I do. From your friend, Riley.”

Riley’s note concluded with a hand-drawn Hawkeye logo, a finger raised to signify “#1” and the words “Go Hawks!!”

Comments included offers of assistance for the hospital and offers of NFL cards for Riley.

“Please provide me an address as well. I’d like to make a donation for these children’s bravery and fight!” wrote a commenter named Colleen Schreier.


Holly O’Brien commented: “Absolutely amazing! Riley's parents, bravo! I would love to send Riley some NFL Cards, please let me know where I can send them! I would also like to match Riley's heartwarming donation in honor of Riley, please let me know where and how much!”

"A person, (in this case a child) that gives his all compared to a millionaire who gives a tenth of their money; is considered to have given far much more in God's eyes. Amazing how God can show us such great perfect examples through our children," Bobby Higgins wrote on Facebook.

The hospital directed Facebook users to an online form that accepts donations.

Riley's mom, Missie Lafrentz, thanked everyone for sharing the post and supporting the hospital.

“I hope this inspires others to 'give more than they get' this Christmas season and all year round!” she wrote on Facebook, adding that it's “amazing how infectious love and kindness can be.”