13-Year-Old Donates Thousands From Bar Mitzvah to Pay Veterans' Medical Bills

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soldierDepressed about the season of gluttony that cometh for our kids? Don't be. Think about the bar mitzvah boy from California who just donated $13,000 to Operation Mend, a group that supplies free medical services to soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. I should mention that money represents all the gifts Joshua Neidorf got at his big blow-out party.

Imagine! A kid got some money and they didn't blow it on some fancy new gadget! It's a Veterans Day miracle!

OK, not quite. But it's still a clear parenting win from where I'm standing. Joshua is a kid lucky enough to get $13,000 in gifts at a bar mitzvah. He could have gone out and blown it all. It's his, after all. But instead of buying "stuff," he bought some soldiers a ticket to recovery. 

Somehow these parents have been able to give their child an appreciation not just for our nation's veterans but for what it means to be fortunate ... and why it's important to pass that good fortune on to people who deserve it. The 13-year-old's family has been involved with the non-profit helping veterans for quite some time, and their son got to see firsthand the life changing work that they're doing through his friendship with a soldier who'd survived a road-side bomb explosion. Said Joshua:

I just love knowing that it’s going somewhere ... to help the people who save our lives and keep us safe every day.

Going into the holiday season, we could all use the Neidorfs' example. Take your kids holiday shopping, and help them pick out something for the US Marines' Toys for Tots drive. Spend Thanksgiving morning with them peeling potatoes at a local shelter. You may not have the luxury of throwing a party where your child gets $13,000 in gifts, but do SOMETHING with your kids this season so they know that life isn't all about them. That's priceless.

How do you teach your kids to share their good fortune with others?


Image via The US Army/Flickr

inspiring teens, military

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Sharon Coy

What a remarkable boy he is! His parents are to be congratulated for raising him to think about someone besides himself. This is a heart warming story in the midst of the turmoil in our world today.

Marti Bowker

Joshua, you are a fine shining example to everyone, may blessings return to you many times over!

vandm... vandmsmom

What a wonderful story that is a true example of the holiday spirit and good parenting that is an amazing young man!!!

vandm... vandmsmom

What a wonderful story that is a true example of the holiday spirit and good parenting that is an amazing young man!!!

Madonna Zasada

Josh, You are an amazing person!!! Thank You Mr and Mrs. Neidorf for your wonderful parenting skills. The world needs more selfless people like you. Shalom!!

Joy Patterson Thompson

This boy is amazing!! Such a selfless though for a child his age!!


 My 12 year old daughter is also collecting things for Toys for Tots!! She has collected over 80 stuffed animals for Toys for Tots!!

Leticia Inuma

That is awesome! Such a good kid!!

nonmember avatar Lorie

God job find the way to get rid of pennies in your pockets! What about your wonderful parents can they match it??! I'm sure they wouldn't mind to give something back to the country that has given them everything. I'm sure they can give up a one day shopping at the local mall. God bless you!!

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