Braden Baker, 10, got the birthday gift of a lifetime from Ellen DeGeneres — $20,000.
But he doesn’t plan on keeping one penny of it.
The Fort Worth boy appeared on “The Ellen Show” Tuesday to share his story about raising money for people who can’t afford hearing aids.
Baker, born with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, has been wearing hearing aids since he was a baby.
After his dog, Chewy, ate his hearing aids for the second time, he said his “mom actually got really mad at me.” His parents ended up giving him “a lesson about how some people can’t afford another pair,” he told DeGeneres.
He took what they said to heart, and after watching DeGeneres’s TV show, on which she often gives back, he decided to do the same.
So he set up a gofundme account with the goal of raising $1,000 to help other people buy hearing aids.
He ended up raising a little over $23,000, which paid for 100 hearing aids, he said on the show.
Now he and his family plan to go to Guatemala for his 11th birthday next month to “hand out hearing aids to kids and adults who can’t afford them,” he told DeGeneres.
“That’s an amazing thing,” DeGeneres told him on the show.
She gave him an early birthday gift — an iPad Pro.
And she encouraged viewers to go to Baker’s gofundme page and donate if they can. As of Wednesday morning, the total was up to more than $35,000.
DeGeneres, who has partnered with Cheerios to share the message of “doing good,” then pulled out a massive box of Cheerios and asked Baker to dig through it.
When all he found was cereal, she poured some out into a big bowl.
He kept digging and finally found a stack of money — $20,000 — to help buy even more hearing aids.
He quickly gave DeGeneres a hug.
“Oh my gosh,” he said. “Thank you.”
There was one more gift.
DeGeneres said she wanted to have Baker back on the show.
“I love to encourage kids who are doing selfless acts like this at this age,” she said. “It’s pretty amazing.”
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