Altamonte Springs boy donates to Angel Tree program, Salvation Army surprises him

11-year-old boy donated his allowance

ORLANDO, Fla. – It was on Giving Tuesday two weeks ago when Joseph Ackerman, 11, caught our eye during the News 6 Angel Tree phone bank.

Joseph called in that day and donated $20 from his allowance.

“Honestly, I didn’t really want anything and also I want everybody to have a good Christmas, so I donated my money,” he said.

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Joseph is doing virtual learning at home due to his asthma and his mother who has multiple sclerosis.

He said he knows it’s been a rough year for thousands of families, which is why he wanted to step in to help.

“I’m going to donate another 20 bucks for this Angel Tree program and this time it’s because I heard a lot of children and families are expecting gifts and unfortunately some of them aren’t going to get them,” he said.

Following his announcement, Capt. Ken Chapman from the Salvation Army gave Joseph a big thank you.

“The wisdom that many adults should be exhibiting in their lives, you just gave us a message of hope to help other people and we are so very proud of you,” Chapman said.

And that wasn’t all, Chapman surprised Joseph with a brand new bike after a donor heard about his generosity.

“We wanted you to know we are so appreciative of you for caring for other people and we hope you enjoy that, and this is the way God works, you can’t out give him. When you give, he gives even more,” Chapman said.

And with that said, Joseph wanted to sign off with his own special message to all.

“That’s my message to other people: Donate. Give back to your community and give back to everybody else,” he said.

About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!