Pictured (left to right) Top: LMH pediatric nurses Nerrissa Dela Cruz and Heather Vaartstra. Bottom: Carla Brown, Jacob Hauka and Emily Hauka.

10-year-old forgoes birthday gifts to help children at Langley Memorial Hospital

Instead of receiving his own gifts on his 10th birthday, Jacob Hauka donated toys to the pediatric unit at LMH

Jacob Hauka asked for something different for his 10th birthday this year – toys and games for the young patients at Langley Memorial Hospital.

This isn’t the first time Jacob has chosen to forgo gifts for himself – since his fifth birthday, Jacob has collected donations for charity. The donations he collected have supported the Vancouver Aquarium (twice), BC Children’s Hospital, World Wildlife Fund and a Canadian Shark research foundation.

This year, his mom, Carla, suggested that rather than donations, perhaps he could donate items instead of money. She provided examples such as toys to the hospital, pet toys and supplies to the SPCA, food to the food bank, or money donations.

Jacob said he was very excited about the opportunity to provide toys for children in the hospital “so they can have something fun to do while in the hospital.”

All of the guests to his party told Carla that they and their children had so much fun shopping for the kids.

“I would like to express our sincere gratitude for the selfless act of Jacob and his family, who donated several toys and activities to the kids on the Pediatric Unit at LMH, instead of receiving birthday gifts for himself. The children of Langley who are convalescing will now be able to just feel a little more ‘normal’ while in hospital,” said Shelley Krautsieder, Patient Care Coordinator, LMH Pediatrics.

“It keeps them active and thinking and makes the time go by more quickly, especially if they are unable to leave their rooms. It is an amazing quality to be so kind and generous and it’s much farther reaching than this story can ever begin to acknowledge.

“Thank you for paying it forward Jacob.”