A wonderful ten-year-old boy makes the selfless decision to wash cars to raise funds for his elderly neighbor’s surgery. When someone rewards him, he is taken aback by the decision.

Max Weaver’s existence was turned upside down when his father died when he was only five years old. Two years later, his mother could not keep up with the payments on the mortgage, and as a result, the family was forced to abandon their home.

The decision was made by Max’s mother to relocate the family from California to Arizona, where they will stay with Max’s grandmother, Moira. This meant that Max lost his father and his friends, and every connection to what had been a happy and carefree life.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash


It was possible that Max’s childhood would end at that point, but then he met Mr. Kelsey. Grandmother Moira’s next-door neighbor was Mr. Kelsey.

Max was taken aback the very first time they met each other. He had never before encountered anyone of that age. His small head of hair swelled up from the sides of his head in clumps, and his epidermis was so thin that his veins and bones were visible through it. He had very little hair. Then Max became aware of his pupils. Bright, youthful, and full of curiosity characterized Mr. Kelsey’s eyes.

When Max had already been living at Grandmother Moira’s for a week, that is when he first made contact with Mr. Kelsey. He played some soccer in the courtyard by kicking his ball around. Max decided that playing alone wasn’t very entertaining, so he started attempting to hit the slats in his grandmother’s fence.

Being good to others always pays off.

He gave the ball a strong kick, flying through the skies and into the next yard, which was located beyond the fence. Max made his way up the fence after running up to it. He could spot his ball where it had been thrown in the center of the grass, close to a deck chair.

It was the oldest guy Max had ever seen sitting in that deck chair. He was staring up into the sky the entire time and appeared to be holding something resembling a fishing reel in his hands.

“Excuse me, Mister,” Max said politely. “My ball went into your yard. “Could you throw it over?” The guy laboriously rose from his chair and set the reel on the floor.

Max observed that the man was extremely tall and thin, and his hands were large, bony, and had swollen joints. “Hello,” the man said. “You must be Moira’s grandson.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“Yes, sir,” Max said politely. “I’m Max. That’s Max for Maxwell, not Maximillian.”

“Nice to meet you, Max,” said the man. “I’m John Kelsey. Come on over and fetch your ball.”

Max climbed the wall and entered Mr. Kelsey’s property by climbing over the fence. He reached down and slipped his ball under his arm, and it was at that moment he noticed Mr. Kelsey’s kite in the sky. Max had never seen a flyer that looked quite like that before. It was painted in a scary demon eye design on a brilliant yellow background.

“Wow!” Max said. “That’s a cool kite.”

“Thank you,” Mr. Kelsey said. “It’s the best one I’ve ever made. Too bad I can’t fight anymore.”

“Fight?” asked Max, bewildered. “What does that mean?”

“You know, I was a commercial pilot,” Mr. Kelsey said. “And when I retired, I couldn’t stand the idea of being stuck on the ground.”

“So I started making and flying fighting kites, and I was pretty good! That is a fighting kite. As you can see, it has only one string. That string is coated with glue and ground glass, so you can cut another kite’s string if you’re good.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“Cut the string?” asked Max. “Like a dog fight?”

“Exactly,” said Mr. Kelsey. “A dog fight with kites. You have to be good at reading the wind and maneuvering your kite. “You want to try?”

Max picked up the reel eagerly and started trying to make the kite swoop and swerve through the air. “That’s way cool!” he cried. “Will you teach me, Mr. Kelsey?”

“If you want to learn, you have to start by making your kite,” Mr. Kelsey said. “But first, you ask your mom for permission!”

All that Max could talk about that night at dinner was Mr. Kelsey and his warrior kites. “It’s SO cool, mom,” Max said, his eyes shining. “He said he’d teach me. Can I go over there tomorrow?”

“I don’t know, Max,” his mom said. “The gentleman is very old. Are you sure you won’t be bothering him?”

“He said he wanted to teach me,” Max said. “Please?”

“Deidre,” Grandma Moira said to Max’s mom. “I think it’s a wonderful idea. Mr. Kelsey is a lovely man. It will be good for him to have a young one’s company. And it will be great for Max to have an activity that doesn’t involve his computer or video games.”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

After that, Max made it a habit to visit Mr. Kelsey immediately after school daily. He started by learning how to build tiny kites as light as a feather. Max was astounded to watch Mr. Kelsey’s stiff hands as they carefully attached the fragile paper to the thin sticks.

On the other hand, his palms seemed ungainly in comparison, and he usually got to get glue all over himself and smear it onto the paper. Max, however, never gave up and never gave in.

Never giving up was something that his father instilled in him from a young age. “There’s always a way, Max,” his dad would say. “Keep going!”

Max improved his skills to the point where he was almost on par with Mr. Kelsey. He was able to teach himself how to fly his kites, but Mr. Kelsey won the dog battles most of the time. Then, during the summer that Max turned ten, there was a shift in how things were.

When building the kites, Mr. Kelsey would sometimes place the sticks in the wrong location and even rip the paper. He started losing almost every time, and this continued even after he started losing.

“What’s wrong?” asked Max anxiously. “Are you OK?”

Mr. Kelsey covered his eyes with his palms and grimaced. He apologized to Max, saying, “I’m sorry.” “You see, I’m ninety-five years old. My eyes…I have cataracts. I’m losing my sight.”

“But…you can have surgery!” Max said. “Grandma Moira did!”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

“I can have surgery,” Mr. Kelsey said. “But the doctor told me that it might be complicated because of my age. Medical insurance will pay a part, but I will still have to come up with at least three thousand dollars. I might need to stay in the hospital, you see, and on my pension, I can’t afford it.”

When Max returned home, he discussed Mr. Kelsey with his mother and grandmother.

“Mom,” Max said. “Please, can’t we help him?”

“Honey,” Max’s mom said. “I wish we could, but you know how tight money is! I’ve been saving for months to buy you that bike you want, and I’m still short a hundred dollars.”

“I don’t want the bike,” Max said with tears in his eyes. “I’d rather give the money to Mr. Kelsey for his surgery.”

“Max,” his mom said gently. “That is only $150. What about the rest?”

“I can contribute $100,” said Grandma Moira. “But that still leaves $2750 to go.”

“I’ll raise the money,” Max said. “I’ll wash cars at the mall parking lot on Saturdays and Sundays!”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

This is precisely what Max did in the end. He took his bucket and some sponges to the mall parking lot and addressed the people there, offering to wash their cars for a dollar each. Max had to sell some cars to make a difference, but he was persistent.

Because Max did such an excellent job, clients occasionally tip him an extra dollar, but overall, he only made about twenty dollars for the weekend.

The situation was made even worse because some customers would instruct Max to wash their vehicles, but then they would leave without paying. One of Max’s clients once asked him: “What do you do this for, kid?”

No one had ever asked Max before! His response was, “My neighbor, Mr. Kelsey. He needs cataract surgery. I’m raising the money for him.”

The man’s expression was one of utter shock.

“How much do you need?”

“I have $620,” Max said. “My mom gave me the money she was saving for my bike, but I still need maybe $2400 more.”

“Is that what you wanted?” the man asked. “A bike?”

“Yeah,” Max said. “But Mr. Kelsey’s eye surgery is lots more important!”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

“You’re a kind boy,” the man said gently. “Where do you live?”

When Max shared with the guy his address, the stranger expressed his gratitude by handing Max twenty dollars. Max couldn’t believe that he had gotten so lucky.

The man flashed a sly smile and uttered cryptically, “Don’t thank me yet!”

Max didn’t know that the man he met would try to help him in any way he could. After that, he went home and shared his account of Max on Facebook. After that, he established a GoFundMe website, on which he also detailed Max’s predicament. The story of a young boy who, at the age of ten, gave up his hope of buying a bike to donate money to a friend who needed eye surgery. He requested that people submit their contributions so that Mr. Kelsey and Max could be rewarded for their efforts.

Donations started coming in gradually initially, but as word got out about the cause, more and more people started contributing financial support. The goal of raising $2,500.00 to pay for the operation was quickly accomplished.

However, the fundraising efforts continued beyond that point! The man who’d met Max previously had other plans in mind, and the revelation came as a huge shock. Max was home alone when he heard the pounding at the door.

“Hello,” he said and handed Max an envelope. “This is for your friend, Mr. Kelsey.” Max opened the envelope and saw a check for over $3000!

“Wow!” he cried. “That’s so great! He can get his surgery, thanks to you!”

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

For illustration purposes only | Source: Pexels

The guy gave a slight nod in response. He responded, “Not thanks to me, Max.” “Thanks to YOU!”

The man winked at Max and strolled away. The young lad returned to the house to retrieve the funds he had acquired, and he handed them to Mr. Kelsey with the envelope.

“But…” Mr. Kelsey gasped. “Where did you get all this money?”

Max related his experiences with the bike, the car wash in the shopping center, and the mysterious individual who delivered the check.

“It’s so cool!” he said. “Now you can have your operation, and you’ll see better than before!”

Mr. Kelsey had tears in his eyes. “Max,” he said. “I can live to be 1000 and have 20/20 vision until the day I die, but I’ll never see a kinder heart than yours!”

That was when Max’s mom came running. “Max!” she gasped. “You’d better come home quick!”

Max was alarmed. “Is Grandma Moira OK?” he asked.

His mother was simultaneously laughing and crying when we saw her. “Return to your house, Max! Hurry home right away!”

When Max followed his mother home, he found a large package wrapped in sparkling red paper adorned with many silver ribbons. The package was on the front stoop. “What’s this?” Max inquired.

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

For illustration purposes only | Source: Unsplash

“They just delivered it,” Max’s mom said. “It’s for you!”

Max’s hands shook as he opened the package because he was so anxious about what was inside. When he realized it was a bike, he couldn’t believe it; it was the most amazing and stunning bike he’d ever seen.

“Is it mine?” he asked his mom. “Are you sure? That bike… it costs a lot of money, mom! We can’t afford it!”

“It’s a gift, Max,” his mom said gently. “Many people want to reward you for your kind and loving heart!”

What lessons can we take away from this experience?

  • A good person will always put the needs of those they adore first in their priorities. Max felt that it was more essential to assist Mr. Kelsey than to have a bicycle of his own.
  • A charitable spirit will never go unnoticed or unrewarded. As a result of Max’s decision to assist Mr. Kelsey, he finally fulfilled his lifelong ambition of purchasing a bike.

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