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I never expected what would happen after my son asked to ‘give to kids in the hospital’ for his 15th birthday!
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I never expected what would happen after my son asked to ‘give to kids in the hospital’ for his 15th birthday!

Anthony Mutabazi doesn’t ever ask for much. He’s happy with a video game now and then, maybe a Lego set, and he’ll always take a meal (he just turned 15, after all)!

In 2020, Peter and Anthony started Now I Am Known with a mission to let the most vulnerable kids, especially those in foster care, know that they are seen, heard, and known. They created a Plushie modeled after their Goldendoodle, Simba that wears a bandana with 12 phrases of affirmation: You are loved, you are enough, you matter…

The duo forged relationships with multiple foster and adoption agencies. With every Plushie sold, they give one to foster/adoption agencies. They also built a partnership with Starlight Children’s Foundation who partners with over 800 hospitals around the country, including Novant Health’s Hemby Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Anthony’s birthday wish this year? “I want to give 250 or more Plushies to the kids in the hospital!”

Peter was touched and decided to take it one step further to complete his 15th birthday surprise. “I reached out to the Malouf Foundation and their Rooms Restored program to see if they would help Anthony pay it forward in a special, did they deliver!”

Watch as Anthony gets a birthday surprise he never expected...all because he chose to give first.

Originally published on TODAY

Davide Di Giorgio is a speaker, author, and advocate. His latest project, Now I Am Known is giving vulnerable kids and young people the opportunity to feel seen, heard, and loved. His TED talk, Overcoming Comparanoia® is fueling a mission to empower people, especially young people, to compare less, celebrate more, and to spread kindness to all.

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