Many kids look forward to their birthday party with great excitement, imagining presents, cake, and fun with friends. Cherry Hill resident Samuel Schatz is a typical kid in many ways. A student at Kellman Brown Academy, he loves theater, soccer, Roblox, and his boxing classes at the Katz JCC. But in 2018, when his sixth birthday was around the corner, he wanted to do something a little different, so Samuel decided to donate his birthday gifts to charity that year. Instead of gifts, he asked his friends to bring pet supplies and pet food to his birthday party, which he then donated to a local animal shelter.
Giving to those in need has always been important to the Schatz family. As his seventh birthday approached in 2019, Samuel and his family selected the JFCS Betsy & Peter Fischer Food Pantries as the beneficiary of his birthday gifts. That year, he asked friends to bring Kosher, nonperishable food items for community members struggling to put food on their tables. He and his mom also used some Target gift cards he had received to purchase additional food items for the pantries.
Because of COVID-19, Samuel did not have a birthday party in 2020, but In December 2021, for his ninth birthday, he once again chose to donate his birthday gifts to JFCS. “I know how lucky I am,” said Samuel. “I have everything I could ever need or want. But not everybody is so lucky—even in Cherry Hill. I wanted to do something to help people close to home,” he continued. Thanks to the kindness and thoughtfulness of people like Samuel, local community members can worry a little less about stocking their own pantry shelves. To learn how you can bring help and hope to our neighbors in need, click HERE.