Cohoes boy's giving spirit is contagious

December 11, 2018 05:47 PM

Most of us are familiar with those Advent calendars where every day of December, you open a little window and reveal a piece of chocolate or perhaps a bottle of wine to enjoy. One area mom wanted to change things up for her son. Instead of getting something every day, she wanted him to learn to give.

It's a great idea that's grown far beyond her expectations.

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Bryce Kelley, 7, likes drawing. Especially the Grinch. However, there's nothing Grinchy about this young man's Christmas spirit.

Every December, when lots of kids are making lists of what they want, Bryce is figuring out what he can give.

Bryce's interest in helping others started with an advent calendar he's worked on with his mom for several years now.

"When I was really young, I think, like 2, all the way until I'm 7. Now, I think we're still going to do it until I'm 99," exclaimed Bryce.

"Just trying to make sure that we ingrain in him that it's not a season of, 'What can I get? I want, I want, I want,' it's a season of, 'What can I give,'" explained Tanya Kelley.

They started with simple ideas. Like leaving someone a happy note - or helping your teacher clean the classroom.

As he got older, Bryce began seeking out donations so he could do more. Tanya was hesitant.

"I wanted to share it. My mom said people are just too busy. All I said was, 'Mom, I think you're underestimating people,'" said Bryce.

He was right. Since mom put something on Facebook about her son's efforts, about 30 people have either made donations or started doing similar good deeds.

Recently, Bryce packed up bags of cold weather gear for the homeless and delivered them to Joseph House in Troy, helping dozens of people who are homeless.

Bryce has also brought care packages to area chemotherapy centers and nursing homes. Up next, local animal rescue groups.

It's a big job for a little guy, but he says it makes him joyful – a feeling even the busiest of adults should make time for.

MORE INFORMATION: Pay it forward Christmas Countdown


Jerry Gretzinger

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