Jack Swanson, 7, of Texas, had been saving his pennies to buy an iPad. He was doing extra chores around his house to make money to add to his piggy bank, which totaled $20. However, following the Paris terrorist attacks, he charitably donated his entire savings to a mosque that had been vandalized in the wake of these attacks.
Following the Paris attacks, members of the Islamic Center of Pflugerville, Texas arrived at the mosque to find that it had been vandalized, including feces and torn pages of the Koran that were left in front of the building.
After learning about this vandalism, Swanson discussed the incident with his mother. He and his mother had a conversation about what churches are for, and the fact that everyone’s churches are important to them.
After reflecting on this, Swanson emptied his piggy bank and donated all his money to the mosque.
More important than the money, however, was the meaning behind the act, and what it represented to the mosque and the community.
As one of the mosque’s board members said, “It’s 20 bucks, but coming from Jack collecting his pennies, it’s worth 20 million bucks to me and to our community. It gives me hope because this means it’s not one versus the other.”
Following his donation, international human rights lawyer and author Arsalan Iftikhar decided to thank Swanson on behalf of the U.S. Muslim community, and sent him an iPad.
Swanson’s actions are a reminder of the impact that charitable acts can have, beyond simply their monetary value.