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7-year-old boy uses prize money for Help & Hope Center

Photo of Help & Hope Center Executive Director Dan Marlow receiving donation from little boy.

Help & Hope Center Executive Director Dan Marlow and manager Wendy help 7-year-old Jack Joswick and his 5-year-old sister, Kate, unload toilet paper that Jack donated with his March Madness winnings.

Bethany and Chris Joswick thought it would be a good idea to teach their 7-year-old son, Jack, the value of money at a young age. He received money for his birthday and wanted to use some of it to enter a NCAA men’s basketball national championship pool with his dad.

“Of course, we’re like, ‘it’s a horrible idea,’” said Bethany. “A March Madness pool is not your best bet,” she added. “You are not going to have your money anymore.”

The couple tried to convince Jack not to do it, but he decided to do it anyway.

“My dad has done a March Madness pool with his friends for a long time,” explained Jack, a second grader at Timber Trail Elementary. “This year, I wanted to enter it even though my mom and dad thought it was a bad idea, and I would lose my money.”

Jack put in $20 dollars and filled out a bracket the best he knew how, picking the University of Kansas to win it all.

“I picked all the best teams, and I picked them [Kansas] to beat Gonzaga,” said Jack.

Photo of Jack, a second grader at Timber Trail Elementary

Jack Joswick, a second grader at Timber Trail Elementary, put together a winning NCAA men’s basketball championship bracket. He spent a portion of his cash winnings on toilet paper and donated it to the Help & Hope Center.

Much to the family’s surprise, Jack put together a winning bracket. Kansas won the national championship with a thrilling 72-69 victory over the University of North Carolina in April.

Bethany said that as soon as he won, Jack asked, “Can we do this again?” Bethany said she questioned, “What have we done?” noting that the lesson had totally backfired on them.

The lesson may not have gone as planned for his parents, but in a way, it was a powerful, learning moment for Jack.

“My parents said I had to use half of the money for charity, so I chose the Help & Hope Center because I wanted to help people without food,” said Jack.

Jack called the food pantry in Castle Rock to find out what people in the community needed the most. At the time, toilet paper was at the top of the list. Jack went to the store and bought eight packages of toilet paper with his own money and then delivered his donation.

“It made me feel happy,” recalled Jack. “I hope more people help if they can.”

“You have to teach them somehow,” said Bethany. “We showed him how to donate and drop it off ourselves,” she added. The Joswicks noticed a few things that were needed on the shelves and plan to bring those items the next time they visit.

Jack spent the rest of his prize money on TeenyMates, pocket-size sports figures of professional athletes. He enjoys collecting and trading them with his friends.

By Mindy Stone Tappan; courtesy photos



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