As elementary school students, most kids are thinking about doing well in class, finishing their homework, participating in after school activities, playing video games and receiving presents.
However, fourth grader Evan Gassiot decided not to receive birthday gifts this year.
Instead, he asked people to turn his would-be gifts into donations toward the Waldo Canyon Fire restoration effort.
“When the Waldo Canyon Fire happened and I saw the mountains burning, I felt sad that all the trees were burning down and wanted to do something to help the trees and the mountains,” said Gassiot. “So, when I had my birthday, I asked people to give donations for the forest instead of giving birthday presents and collected $125.00 in donations.”
Gassiot took the money to Pike National Forest District Ranger Allan Hahn to help replant trees. “It was the largest single donation we’ve ever received,” said Hahn.
Gassiot’s mother, Alexa, supported her son’s concern for the natural resources damaged by the recent Waldo Canyon Fire near their home in Colorado Springs. Not only did Evan decide to personally take up the cause, he took action and shared his concerns with others. His teachers were so impressed by his efforts, they had him speak at the school’s assembly and read his story to the entire student body.
Now, his school is launching a school-wide initiative for students to “Take Action” in the community by finding ways to help where help is needed.
“It was exciting to meet the forest ranger and I felt happy and proud that I was doing something to help our mountains,” said Gassiot.
The Forest Service is waiving fees during the Veterans Day Holiday weekend. To find out more, click here.