Tom North, of Pillager, a huge Major League Baseball fan, could have bought a lot of baseball cards.
Instead, he showed he has a big heart.
Tom and his father, Mike, were shopping for a pedometer and pencils before Christmas at a Baxter store. (Tom's fifth-grade class in Pillager is using the pedometers to track their steps. They are trying to log enough miles to reach across the U.S.)
While shopping, Tom spotted a $100 bill on the floor.
"I ran to my dad and showed him the money," Tom said.
They looked for anyone who may have lost the money, then they waited by the checkout lanes before they went to the customer service counter where they gave a cell phone number so if anyone came to claim the money Tom could return it.
Tom North, 11, Pillager, displayed his proud collection of baseball memorabilia, especially baseball cards. Instead of adding to his collection after finding a $100 bill while shopping before Christmas, he split the amount between two passions - Heartland Animal Rescue Team and his mom's employer, Bethany Good Samaritan Village.
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Weeks passed. No one did.
Tom and his parents talked about what to do with the money.
"I decided to donate $50 to animal HART and $50 to my mom's work," Tom said. "Because I like animals and I thought it would be nice to help people at the nursing home."
His love of animals is evident at home, which is shared by his parents, 7-year-old sister Jennifer and their pets - three cats, Trapper, 18, Bubba, 16, Cheese, 16, and an injured stray dog, Lucky, who was adopted a few years ago and since recovered.
"It was his choice what to do with the money," said mom Sue, who works as a dietitian at Bethany Good Samaritan Village in Brainerd.
Who's the one famous person you'd like to meet? "I can't decide between two - Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau."
What makes you laugh? "When people make really funny jokes."
Favorite memory? "Twins Fest. There was like a ton of people there."
Favorite snack: "Skittles."
Favorite TV show: "I don't think I have one."
Most embarrassing moment: "I got stuck in an elevator in Duluth." Tom was 4.
Dream job: "Play Major League Baseball."
Favorite subject in school: "Gym."
One place in this world you'd like to visit: "L.A. - because it's a big place."
Favorite singer: "Gordon Lightfoot." His mom added, "He's an old soul."
Tom used his Bethany donation to select a burgundy bedspread for a resident's remodeled room.
He said he felt "happy" about his donations - "because I thought I did something nice."
"For us as parents, it was a teachable moment too," said Sue. "It was a very nice thing to do. When you do good, it comes back to you."
Mike agreed. "I was proud of him to decide to do that. It was a good learning experience for him."
The $100 may have been important to the person who lost it, Mike said. "Whoever lost it hopefully will be proud to know where it went."
KATHI NAGORSKI may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5859.
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