A little boy has donated all of his birthday money to help the homeless after noticing more and more people sleeping on the streets in his hometown.
Alfie Woodall presented a cheque to two Bournemouth-based foodbanks at the Bournemouth Vs West Ham football match on Saturday 19 January, which also coincided with his fifth birthday.
It’s thought one in five people in the UK live below the poverty line. Last year alone, Bournemouth foodbank handed out more than 6,000 emergency food supplies to people in crisis.
Inspired to help those in need, Alfie asked his 20 friends to give him money for his birthday, rather than buying gifts. He managed to raise £340 at his birthday party and his mum and dad later doubled the donation value, meaning their son was able to hand £680 over to Hope For Food and Bournemouth Foodbank at the match on Saturday.
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Alfie’s dad Roger Woodall, 42, told HuffPost UK that his son kept asking lots of questions whenever he saw homeless people, particularly in December when the family noticed an increasing number of people sleeping on the streets.
Roger and his wife Fleur, also 42, would often give money to rough sleepers and it inspired Alfie to do the same – he would ask them for money to give to people or would go into a shop to buy them some food. “It was heartwarming, he really took to it,” said Roger.
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In the run up to his birthday, Roger asked Alfie if he’d like to raise money for homeless people instead of receiving presents. “He was so willing and so happy to do that,” Woodall said. “It was an amazing feeling as a dad, I have to say, for a four-year-old to want to do that.”
Ahead of his birthday, Roger and Fleur parents had a half-and-half football shirt created for his son, displaying his two favourite teams: AFC Bournemouth and West Ham United.
At the match itself, Alfie was so excited when he got to hand over the cheque at half time. “I just wanted to try and give them some food, warm clothes and a bed,” the five-year-old said.
The heartwarming act has had a positive knock-on effect, with other parents messaging the family to say they felt inspired to do something similar.
Roger said: “It was about teaching him good lessons in life and realising how lucky we are – getting him one step ahead of the game.
“It’s not about material things, it’s about being kind.”
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