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Helmut Schmidt, Published July 31 2012

Kindred 5-year-old forgoes birthday presents to collect school supplies for United Way drive

FARGO – If you’ve got a pencil box that needs to be filled with school supplies, Jameson McCarvel is the kid for the job.

Just be sure it’s blue.

The 5-year-old was a whirlwind of energy Tuesday, filling blue plastic box after blue plastic box with erasers, glue sticks, crayons and pencils in an upstairs room at the Fargodome.

The effort, carried off with the help of his mom and dad, Kevin and Angela McCarvel, is meant to help a boatload of children he doesn’t know.

Rather than stocking up on toys and Legos for his sixth birthday, the Kindred boy is volunteering his time and asking that his birthday presents be school supplies donated to the United Way of Cass Clay’s annual School Supply Drive.

“I just wanted to help people,” he said.

When pressed, he wrinkles his brow in concentration, his hands clutching boxes of crayons.

“Just people we don’t know. Kids,” the kindergartener-to-be said.

Jameson’s school supply crusade got started with a pre-birthday talk with his mother, Kevin McCarvel said.

“He said he had enough toys. He had enough Legos. And he had enough tractors. And he didn’t want anything for his birthday,” his father said. “He said, ‘I want to donate my stuff. I want to give school supplies!’ ”

Jameson also has some skin in the game. It was tough, but he also bought school supplies with some of the money he had set aside to buy a small-four-wheeler, his father and mother said. Guests at Jameson’s pirate-themed Sept. 12 birthday party are being asked not to buy toys, but rather school supplies for the United Way drive.

Kevin McCarvel is impressed with his son.

“Hopefully, with all this hoopla around it, he’ll be willing to continue to give,” he said.

Family and friends have helped Jameson’s cause by giving him a pile of backpacks and other supplies to bring with him to the Fargodome.

Angela McCarvel said she was shocked and stunned when she heard her son’s birthday wish.

“I couldn’t hardly say anything. I looked at him, and said, ‘What did you say?’ He said, ‘I wanted to collect school supplies.’ ”

For him to understand the concept of giving, “it’s amazing, just amazing,” Angela McCarvel said.

Kristina Hein, a United Way spokeswoman, said supplies are still needed, particularly backpacks.

Other items in short supply are pencil boxes and pouches, 1-inch three-ring binders, markers and colored pencils, she said.

School supplies can be dropped off through Aug. 10 at United Way of Cass Clay, the Fargodome, Moorhead Center Mall, West Acres Mall in Fargo, and all Walmart, Gate City Bank and First International Bank locations.

People can also donate money online at www.unitedwaycassclay.org to be used to buy supplies in bulk, Hein said.

Supplies will be distributed Aug. 11 and 14 at the Fargodome. The goal is to equip 4,550 students, she said.


Visit http://www.unitedwaycassclay.org

or www.uwcc.net/ and click on the donate supplies or volunteer link to access information on this year’s school supplies collection.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583

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