“Boy Pays It Forward With ‘Free Toy’ Stand in Front Yard” originally appeared on ABC News, and was reprinted with permission.
A little boy with a heart of gold was on a mission to give away his toys.
Blake Work, 6, was so determined to hold his “free toy” stand — to allow less fortunate children to choose anything they wished from his toy pile — that he sat out in his driveway for six hours in the hot Florida sun until people showed up to take him up on his offer, his mom said.
“My heart was hurting because I didn’t know how it would be possible,” his mom, Melissa Work, of Hudson, told ABC News. “We live in an older community by a golf course with all older people who are retired. There are no kids. But he got his toys together. He had eight of them in the kitchen and he wanted me to help him make a sign.”
So, that’s exactly what they did. The sign read: “Cheer up kids. Come to Blake Work’s house. We have free toys for you.”
The idea for the “free toy” stand first struck Blake the night before, when he and his mom were having a discussion about his chores.
“I was running by the chores for the next day. I said, ‘We’ll play outside for the day but we have to clean our room first,’” Melissa recalled. “But he said, ‘Ugh mom, that’s a lot of toys.’ I explained to him that those are blessings, that he’s very fortunate to have them. And that there are a lot of kids out there that don’t have that many toys, or any toys at all.”
“His face dropped. Like it immediately hurt him,” she added. “He said, ‘I have an idea.’ He jumped out of bed and dragged out a TV tray and said, ‘I’ll set out my toys and do like a lemonade stand.’”
Melissa wasn’t even up the following morning before her little boy was stampeding into her bedroom announcing he was ready for the big day.
“It was the first thing on his mind,” she said. “But this is Blake. He’s always like this. This is him. This is just another day. He would give away our car if he could. I said, ‘Alright baby, we’ll do it.’”
The two set up the table with sign, and Blake laid out all his favorite toys, ripe for the choosing.
“He never left,” Melissa said. “He was out there for six hours. He even wanted his couch out there to rest on.”
At first, as she suspected, there were no takers.
“He kept telling me to text all the other kids, and I was hurting because I couldn’t think of how to make that happen,” the mom said. “But then I got an idea. I posted it on garage sales sites. That was the only thing I could think of. I posted it to two local garage sale sites in our area and people responded.”
Blake’s first customer was a contractor named Don Stafford who was working on a home across the street from them.
“He knows and loves Blake because he’s been working on the house for months,” said Melissa. “He said, ‘I have a grandson in Belize that doesn’t have much. I really like that robot.’ It was Blake’s favorite robot.”
Stafford asked if he could pay $5 for it, but Blake refused his money. The man insisted, and Blake eventually gave in but “immediately talked about giving the $5 away,” said his mom.
Next, a family with small children showed up. Those kids brought toys of their own to give to Blake as a present, but he was more interested in them taking his own.
“At 6 years old, Blake is already changing the world in his own little way just by inspiring others,” Marlainna Delidle, the mother of those children, told ABC News.
Then another family showed up. Melissa said they mentioned they didn’t have much, and were just hoping to stop by to get some books. Blake gave them four of his favorite books.
As the day was nearing to an end, one last visitor showed up that made Blake’s day.
“His teacher was the last one who came out,” Melissa said. “I messaged her and said, ‘If you’re in the area, please stop by.’ She came out to support him. She wanted to come by and tell him how proud she was. It was the perfect way to end the day.”
All of the toys that weren’t claimed, Blake has now donated to his school.
“He kept going inside and getting more. Anything he could find,” his mom said. “He kept restocking it. The rest of them he donated to his school for kids to earn for good behavior. When they get good behavior they get to choose something from the treasure box.”
Blake’s parents couldn’t be more proud of their sweet son.
“I cried a few times, just teared up, because I wanted it for him because I knew how badly he wanted it,” Melissa said. “I was proud of him. I was trying to explain to him that even if nobody came, this is a huge thing and it’s so sweet and how proud of him we are.”
“He’s a humanitarian. He’s something special,” she added. “Everybody in the room has to have what he has. He’ll be the first to say hi, the first to be your friend. I’m just so, so proud of him.”More On