Irish Boy Holds Own Readathon For Charity – GNSOTD Wed, Nov. 4th 2020

Dillon Schmidt is 12-years-old, and lives in Cavan County, Ireland. Recently he undertook a spontaneous act of pure kindness to raise awareness that a charity was in need of assistance.

He saw an ad for Team Hope, a Christian charity, based out of Ireland, that helps children around the world. The TV ad was speaking about how their Christmas Shoebox Appeal was moving online.

Ordinarily they would get donations of shoeboxes filled with gifts to send to children in need of joy over the holidays; but due to the pandemic they have changed the appeal to be for donations of funds in order to fill the shoeboxes by purchasing the gifts in the areas that the children are.

“He said, ‘I’m going to read as many books as I can and raise money for poor children’,” recalls mum Genie McCabe-Schmidt. That was how Dillon decided he wanted to spread the word. “I picked 20 books and wanted to read all of them in the right order,” Dillon said.

Dillon has selective mutism. In his case, a trauma has resulted in him speaking to very few people outside of his immediate family since he was three years old. While he’s a chatterbox at home, the condition resulted in him finding school, cripplingly stressful, and he is now home schooled.

As soon as his parents realized how serious he was; they set up a readathon with his family. Dillon sat himself down with 20 books and began to read at 2 p.m. that same afternoon.

Dillon selected books from Dav Pilkey’s back catalogue for the challenge. Dillon recommends ‘Captain Underpants and the Attack of the Talking Toilets’ as Pilkey’s best.

He didn’t stop for much, in fact he apparently didn’t really even stop to eat, reportedly reading with his dinner in his lap. He certainly didn’t stop when it went through the evening into the night. “I was going to bed at half past 12 and I said, ‘Dillon, you’ve done enough now, honestly, you should go to bed’. And he said, ‘You can’t stop when you’re trying to help someone’.” The simple statement moved Genie. “I just thought, Oh, isn’t that lovely?”

He didn’t stop until he closed the last of his 20 books at 10 the next morning. His mother Genie and her husband Stephan had spent the evening messaging family, friends, and colleagues about what was happening and they did get a number of 20 euro donations, but they didn’t keep tabs on how many. So we don’t know how much Dillon raised or how many shoeboxes were filled, and Dillon didn’t do this to know. “It just shows that it wasn’t planned. This came absolutely out of the blue!” Said Genie. “He’s not doing it to look good or anything. It was just a really sincere thing of wanting to help children.”

And that’s your Good News Story of the Day which you can find in full here. Dillon found himself something that inspired him to act in kindness, and it wasn’t about anything else. Though Dillon was pleasantly surprised to get a certificate from Team Hope in appreciation. “It felt good!” he says.

Story and Image from The Anglo-Celt.

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