Everyday Hero: Boy donates bears to children in harm’s way

By Bill Murphy, Everyday Hero Host
Last Updated: Monday, February 27, 2017, 5:34 AM EST

10 year old Gavin DeSoto loves baseball.  A little league shortstop, he also is a catcher, a pitcher, and a pretty cool kid to boot.

The St. Petersburg fourth grader has put in several years helping other kids. 

Kids he’s never met.

As part of his school’s annual community service project he raised money this year to buy stuffed animal bears.  Bears that were given to the  St. Pete Beach and St. Petersburg Fire Departments and St. Petersburg Police.

His dad, Greg, explained the bears are given out on emergency calls.

“It’s just kind of something to calm the kids down and comfort them in a bad situation,” DeSoto explained.

Gavin raised the money for the bears by selling t-shirts  . 

Then a Sarasota company helped him buy the bears at wholesale prices and also kicked in another $500 of their own.

All told, 144 bears.

For young Gavin giving comes naturally

“Awesome,” Gavin said.  “It’s nice helping people and not always thinking about myself.”

And his reasoning about helping kids not as fortunate as he is?

“Some kids don’t have a bunch of stuff and a nice house and food and shelter,” DeSoto said.

Last year, Gavin’s t-shirt sales resulted in lots of toys for kids at All Children’s Hospital.

And the year before that he raised funds for animal services.

And the plan for next year?

“We’re allowed to start in the summer. So then we can do something much bigger,” DeSoto said.