Ben Crandall has spent a good number of his birthdays having parties, but this year he spent his birthday sacking potatoes.
"Well one day I saw a billboard that said one in five kids go hungry, I just did not like that, like one percent did not like that," Crandall said.
That's when he decided he wanted to have a volunteer party for his eleventh birthday.
He told his mom he didn't want any presents, he just wanted to collect donations for the Northeast Iowa Food Bank.
"Just to think that he would give up on potential Legos or Xbox games or Mind Craft or whatever Sky Lander thing he would want and put his wants a side," Sara Durrwachter, Crandall's mom said. "At that age, that's generally not the case so it meant everything to me."
Even though Crandall's birthday party was a little different this year, he still was able to enjoy it with his friends.
"I'm very proud of him, as a mother, and he has taught me a lesson as to be more generous and to think outside of myself," Durrwachter said. "It's a strong lesson to a thirty-three year-old from an eleven year-old."
Crandall said putting a smile on the faces of others is the best part about volunteering.
"Helping others is important, and you can do it anytime, anywhere, any place," Crandall said.
As for Crandall's twelfth birthday, he is already thinking of other ways he can help.
"We already had the discussion that other children don't necessarily have beds to sleep in, so I'm picturing myself next year pulling mattresses around," Durrwachter said. "So we shall see what Ben comes up with."
If you would like to help others like Crandall did, you can donate directly to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank or drop donations off at Kingsley Elementary School in Waterloo.