Wyatt Erber worked hard to claim his $1,000 prize and when he was finally awarded the money, he turned around and donated it to his neighbor, who is battling leukemia. His story has captivated the nation and inspired others to give a little more to those in need.
When Wyatt's mother read about a local scavenger hunt with a prize of $1,000, he immediately wanted to participate. While most kids would want to use the money for toys, or their parents would want to put it in a savings account, Wyatt, 8, already had a plan for how to spend his winnings.
"Wyatt immediately said, 'Let's do it, and if I win the $1,000, I want to give it to Cara,'" his mom, Noelle Erber told ABC News. "The idea of being able to give a thousand dollars wowed him."
Cara Kielty, 2, has battled leukemia for some time now, and Wyatt was very sensitive to her needs.
"He was really aware of what cancer is," Noelle said. "When he found out Cara had cancer, his heart sank."
The Erbers then set out on the scavenger hunt, visiting 20 businesses in Edwardsville, Illinois. They were surprised to learn that they had succeeded in claiming the prize and called Cara's mother to offer their winnings.
"I knew he was wanting to do it for Cara, which is the sweetest thing ever," Trisha Kielty said. "But an 8-year-old giving adults money? I tried to protest to his mom. Then she told me he asked how much chemo this would buy Cara. He gets it," she explained.
Wyatt's kindness has inspired others to donate to the Kielty family. One charity, the Edwardsville Neighbors in Need, matched his donation of $1,000. And at least one person in Canada sent Wyatt a letter and a $100 donation to Cara.
Readers have begun asking where they can send their own donations to the Kielty family and have called Wyatt a "hero" and inspiration.