Missouri boy uses birthday to collect shoes for the needy

Sunday, December 8, 2013 | 6:32 p.m. CST

FARMINGTON — Some needy children in the Farmington area of eastern Missouri are getting new shoes, thanks to the generosity of a little boy.

The Daily Journal newspaper in Park Hills reports that Braxton Krause had a unique idea for his recent ninth birthday party. Rather than have guests bring gifts for him, Braxton wanted them to bring a pair of shoes for donation.

So he told his parents, Lance and Patti Krause. Patti made the wish known on the invitations she sent out.

"He came to me on his own several months ago saying he'd been thinking about having people bring shoes instead of presents for his birthday," Patti Krause recalled. "I think that's a pretty big deal for an 8-year-old to decide that's what they want to do.

"That's a pretty proud moment as parents to know he has such a big heart and wants to help others."

The idea came to Braxton after he observed donations made to Operation Christmas Child at Farmington's First Baptist Church, where his family attends. That program provides shoeboxes filled with toys and other items, but Braxton decided needy children probably needed shoes, too.

At the birthday party, the boys seemed to share in Braxton's joy in helping others, Patti Krause said.

"They were just as excited it seemed to know these shoes would go to other kids that needed them," she said.

Braxton was able to collect more than a half-dozen pairs of new shoes at his party. The family was donating them to a local organization for distribution.

Braxton has pitched in to help others before. He said his third-grade class won a pizza party for collecting the most canned goods during a food drive.

He said it feels good to help other kids who are less fortunate than he is.

"I know the kids that get the shoes will be really happy," Braxton said.

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