The only thing this fifth grader from North Carolina wants for his upcoming birthday are shoes—not for himself, but for the kids who might not be getting footwear in time for the new school year.
And it’s not the first time he’s shown such generosity. Every year for the past three years, 10-year-old Gunner Robinson has asked birthday party guests to donate a pair of shoes that will be later distributed to less privileged kids in their Wilmington community.
“They might not be starting off school with new shoes,” Gunner told InsideEdition.com. “It makes me feel better.”
Now his campaign, “Gunner’s Runners,” has spread beyond the 40 kids who come to his party.
Since he first started collecting shoes before his August 15th birthday in 2014, his parents said they have received at least 600 pairs.
“It seems like everybody is just coming around and helping,” Gunner said.
Gunner’s mom, Kristi Robinson, told InsideEdition.com she suspects her son was inspired by a local girl they sponsored in Christmas 2013.
The family bought various supplies and presents for the girl, but the one thing that lingered on Gunner’s mind were her shoes and how she otherwise wouldn’t have received any for Christmas.
“That just stuck with him for some reason,” his mom told InsideEdition.com.
So when Kristi asked her son what he wanted for his birthday that following year, he only had one thing on his mind. Instead of gifts for himself, Gunner told his mom to ask party guests to bring a pair of shoes for kids at school.
Kristi Robinson started sharing the news on Facebook, and soon enough, her friends started dropping off brand new pairs of shoes at their home.
That year, his goal was to collect 300 pairs of shoes but by the time his birthday came around, he received 415 pairs and donations like gift cards and cash even started showing up in the mail.
“I was shocked,” his mom said.
Afterwards, Gunner decided to make his “Gunner’s Runners” an annual event.
According to his father, the “dining room [has been] full for three years in a row, pretty much,” from his son’s generosity.