Young hero gives Christmas to other children

Hero gives up gifts to give others Christmas

Some lucky girls and boys in Fort Collins and Loveland will have a brighter than expected Christmas. A young 7Everyday Hero is helping Santa. That job is a long term commitment.

'I do it every year, since I was 7," said volunteer Owen Schneider.

Schneider just turned 12, but rather than accept birthday presents on his December birthday he asks that people donate to Toys for Tots.

This is his sixth year collecting toys for others.

"On my seventh birthday I decided I had a lot of toys and some kids didn't, so I talked to my mom about it.  And she thought it would be a good idea," said Schneider.

"There are still kids out there who say more doesn't make me happy, doing things for other people makes me happy," said Owen's mom, Michelle Schneider.

That first year Schneider gathered about 100 toys.

"They usually bring Barbies, Hot Wheels, and this year someone is going to bring an iPod," said Schneider.

Six years later, Schneider has collected more than 3,000 toys. His idea has gotten so big Chick-Fil-A help him out. He has drop off days around his birthday at northern Colorado Chick-Fil-A restaurants.

"Every kid who brings a toy gets a free kids meal," said Schneider.

"It gives people an easier time giving Toys for Tots instead of having to go to the mall," said Schneider's friend, Nick Friesen.

When asked if he will ever stop this Christmas effort, Schneider said "never," because it is too much fun.

"I enjoy it because it makes me feel good and I think it makes a real difference in the community," said Schneider.

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