TECUMSEH, Mich. — At a time when children would expect to get gifts, a young boy from Tecumseh, Michigan, wants nothing more than to give for his birthday.
This year Brandon Bemis decided to donate to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor.
"It's usually like toys, stuffed animals, books. But usually sometimes there's gift cards as well," said Brandon.
It's a birthday wish list any 11-year-old like Brandon might have. But Brandon isn't your typical 11 year old.
He decided his birthday shouldn't be just about him any more.
"The idea kinda came from, I just didn't feel like I even needed any more gifts. So I just thought, why not give? Like receive gifts to give to others?" said Brandon.
He shared the thought with his mom, Elaine Bemis, about five years ago.
"He's like, I wanna give to someone that doesn't have. And so I said, well that's really nice. I said, well, let's figure out what we can do and who's in need. So we kinda just went from there," said Elaine.
Brandon and his mom put their heads together in the weeks before he turned eight years old.
They decided to donate Brandon's birthday haul to Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor.
"To be able to bring a smile to their face if they're in the hospital," said Brandon.
It didn't stop there.
For the next three birthdays, he collected for a Humane Society, a homeless shelter in Adrian and the Peaceable Primate Sanctuary in Indiana.
"You try to raise your child with the values and good, good values and good morals. And try to raise them as good people. So when they're out in the world, they're making great decisions," said Elaine proud of her son.
Brandon will be 12 on March 15 and he's planning to go back to where it all started at C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.
"Maybe they'll zone out for a bit while they're playing with their new toy. And they might forget why they're in the hospital and just so they'll feel more at home," said Brandon.
It's a selfless act, which he hopes will encourage others to do the same.
Just search using the first name as Mott and the last name as Hospital and you can help kids at Mott's, too.