A 6-year old boy named Ryan O'Donnell of Syracuse is warming hearts all over Central New York - and especially at the Rescue Mission. The agency that works to feed, care for and end homelessness in Syracuse recently got a letter from Ryan and a donation. The young boy, who is a first grader at Onondaga Road Elementary, was writing to offer the money from his first lost tooth as a donation to the Rescue Mission. "I would like to give it to you to help people who don't have homes," he wrote.
The Rescue Mission received the letter on January 2. Rescue Mission CEO Alan Thornton said, "Our heart is touched every time a child reaches out to help our mission."
Ryan's father tells CNYCentral the idea for the donation came while his tooth was still loose. "When his first tooth was loose he said he could not wait until it fell out so he could give the tooth fairy money to charity. My wife and I asked what charity and he said the one for people who don't have houses," Ryan's father Larry O'Donnell told CNYCentral.
Ryan O'Donnell lost his first tooth right up front the day after Christmas.
"I was excited when it was gonna come out," says Ryan.
The tooth fairy paid him a visit and gave him a reward for losing his tooth.
"Four quarters and two tens, two fives."
After keeping his quarters, Ryan was still fresh with Christmas spirit. He decided to do something very special with his two five dollar bills.
"I gave my two fives to charity."
He donated them to the Rescue Mission to help neighbors without a home so they will be safe. He wrote a note telling anyone who could read it what he wanted to do with both of his brand new five dollar bills. A note which moved his father Larry O'Donnell.
"I started to get emotional, I was very proud that he came up with that on his own. He said I wanna give to charity and I said what kind? He said the kind for people without homes," says O'Donnell.
His mother Sheila O'Donnell hope this story will help make other people think about donating to their own charity.
"Any little bit, any. It doesn't have to be money, time or just carrying yourself and giving of yourself to help other people that need it," says O'Donnell.
A missing tooth which Ryan and his family hope will inspire other to help a little bit in their community, even if it's donating money found under a pillow.