Wellington resident Noah Norwitch donated $3,334 to the village’s parks and recreation department on Tuesday.
It’s part of some $12,000 he said he’s raised and donated to charity in lieu of receiving birthday presents for each of the past five years.
Noah is 10.
“I just like to help out,” said the fifth-grader at Binks Forest Elementary School.
Noah said he started collecting money for charity when he was 5, and his donations from the previous four years went to benefit Angel Flight.
“I had way too much stuff in my playroom, so I decided to, instead of presents, donate money to charity,” he said.
His mother, Bobbi, said it started with a simple idea “and he just ran with it.”
“We are just so proud,” Bobbi Norwitch said. “From a very early age, he was selfless and wanted to give back.”
Noah’s gift to Wellington on Tuesday was inspired by a former swimming teammate who Noah had noticed had stopped coming to practice.
“He said his parents couldn’t afford it, and I was really sad,” Noah said, “and it really inspired me to help kids that couldn’t afford it.”
His donation will be earmarked specifically to help cover registration fees and other costs for underprivileged kids who would otherwise be unable to participate in the village’s parks and recreation programs.
He presented his check to the Village Council with an articulate and moving speech, as his mother, brother Caleb and other family members looked on.
Council members, expecting his donation to be a small but well-intended gesture, were “floored” by his generosity.
“In the two and half years I’ve been sitting up here, this is probably one of the most moving stories,” Vice Mayor John Greene said, choking up. “You’re a very special kid.”
“You’re definitely an old soul to think of other people in that way,” Councilwoman Anne Gerwig told Noah. “I thank you for having the insight and seeing a need and meeting it.”
At the end of Tuesday’s meeting, long after Noah and his family had left, the council discussed his donation again.
Councilman Howard Coates suggested the village should create a young citizen’s award in Noah’s name to encourage other children to engage in similar “selfless acts.”
“This wasn’t an adult or a large corporation; this was a kid coming in with his birthday money,” Coates said. “Let’s do something to recognize the act and carry it forward.”
Go to mypalmbeachpost.com to watch the video of Noah Norwitch’s presentation during Tuesday’s council meeting.