GENEROUS SPIRIT: No Birthday Presents Wanted

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With presents, cake and decorations, birthday parties can be expensive. One metro boy decided he doesn't want presents or a typical party for his birthday.  He wants to celebrate by helping others.

Jake Tassin is like any fourth grader.  He says, "I'm going to be 10."

But, this birthday boy doesn't want to celebrate like most. He says, "I wanted to give because toys are over rated."

Mom Lori Tassin says, "For the past couple of years for birthdays and Christmas, he keeps telling us he does not want a present, that he would like to give tennis shoes or money to people that don't have it."

His parents finally granted his wish. This year, they'll pack meals in a warehouse for Meals From The Heartland. Mrs. Tassin says, "We've invited just a lot of people, put it out on Facebook. We've invited all of his 4th grade class. And, instead of birthday presents, they're to bring money and we're going to fill food."

The Tassins expect about 50 guests. Each meal costs 20 cents. And, they hope to raise enough cash to feed 5,000 people.  Lori Tassin says, "We're trying to get $1,000 or 1,000 plus dollars. If we can feed more than 5,000, that would be phenomenal."

Lori says Jake is really excited when he goes to pick up the mail and there's an envelope full of money for the party. She says she's really not surprised he wanted to give back. "He has seen people that have given to us."

These last few years haven't been easy for the family. Dad Craig Tassin says, "In September of 2010 she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. And, then in late October 2011, I was diagnosed with brain cancer."

Craig has been cancer free for about 20 months. Lori is still battling her cancer, thankful for every moment and looking forward to this weekend's big party. She says, "It is really nice that I don't have to worry about decorations and who is going to give what. And, all these toys they're never going to play with. This is just something and it's probably going to be the most memorable birthday he'll have."

If you'd like to contribute to Jake's birthday party, send a check with “Jake Tassin’s Birthday” in the memo line. The address is Meals From The Heartland, 11160 Aurora Avenue, Urbandale Iowa 50322. Click here for more information about MFTH’s Mobile Hunger Fight and how to host a meal packing party throughout the year.