The Washington Times-Herald

July 13, 2013

The gift of giving

By Nate Smith
Washington Times Herald

WASHINGTON — Trevin Alford celebrated his seventh birthday on Wednesday and will have a party today.

His party will be like any for boys his age, complete with cake and ice cream, but there will be very few presents. In fact, the invitation to his party said “No presents.” Trevin doesn’t want any.

That may sound strange until one hears why. Trevin doesn’t want any presents because he has asked people to donate to his elementary school, Lena Dunn.

“Because I have lots of toys already,” Trevin said. “(I want to raise) money for my school so they could buy supplies for the kids that don’t have supplies.”

The idea for the donation drive came like any discussion a child would have with his parents. He talked with his parents, Carrie and David Alford, on what he wanted for his birthday. His favorite toys are craft items and he loves to color and draw. He is good on supplies and thought of a way to make his own impact on Lena Dunn, where he will be in the second grade this upcoming school year.

“At our babysitters, we saw (an activity) and it’s called ‘Make Your Mark,’” Trevin said. “I saw one that was instead of presents for their birthday it was cans of food.” “So when we started talking about this initially, we decided it would be like making his mark,” Carrie said.

Since putting “asking for no presents” and “asking for donations” on the invitation, Carrie said almost everyone who has received an invite has called.

“They said, ‘Really? Are you sure he’s going to be OK with not getting toys?’” Carrie said. “I told them this is completely him. He seems to be real excited about it and to give the money to his principal.”

Brenda Butcher, Trevin’s principal at Lena Dunn, said the boy’s generosity has been seen before at the school.

“I have witnessed Trevin give away items from his supply box to fellow classmates (even if it left Trevin with no erasers or glue),” Butcher said. “Trevin has also observed his parents and grandmother give back to our community.”

Butcher said the child is “a kind boy who is very observant.” She said Trevin was one of the first people to thank donor Tom Emmons for his contributions to school library earlier this year. Emmons donated and helped secure additional donations for remodeling of the Lena Dunn library. Trevin said himself he likes the library very much.

“It’s all organized and stuff,”Trevin said.

Many in the community have organized drives to help the school. Lena Dunn has 98 percent of its students on free and reduced lunches and many families struggle with poverty.

For Carrie, who works in the Washington Schools central office, she believes the example set by Emmons and other organizations showed Trevin his generosity.

“That’s what I love about Lena Dunn,” Carrie said. “I think he gets exposed to that culture. Everyone at Lena Dunn is very giving. He knows it’s more than just an education and he gets to see the social side.” “All the schools are great but Lena Dunn has a special place in my heart,” Carrie said.

The family, including younger sister Taylin, did a birthday dinner at a local restaurant Wednesday and will have the party today.

“We’ve heard of a few people that might bring a toy and a donation,” David said.

But Trevin hopes to keep the donations to his school coming, but even if he gets a small present, he might accept it.

“I don¹t know,” Trevin laughed.

By the way, the young man loves Looney Tunes and loves to draw and color.

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If one would like to donate to Trevin’s school, donations may be sent in care of Trevin Alford, 1754W 50N, Washington, IN 47501.