LANGLEY, Wash. — Spencer Jonas has learned many lessons around his dining room table.
But it was a question from his mom about people who go hungry, that's made the most profound impact.
"Would you like to try and help those people, and he said, yes. And I said maybe we can do a food drive for your birthday since people are coming anyway and we'll just put a bin out and we'll ask people if they'd like to bring food instead of gifts," said Lynda Jonas, Spencer's mom.
Giving up birthday presents when you're four years old isn't easy, but Spencer's sacrifice has led to an even greater gift; a yearly tradition of collecting food for the food bank on Whidbey Island.
"I've tried a lot harder every year and set goals that were higher each year and tried to meet them,” said Spencer.
He's up to seven years now. Each with the goal of making the scale at the food bank go higher.
"It's an accomplishment. I just really get excited when I look at the scale and it goes over the number I got last year."
But the most excited are the folks at Good Cheer Food Bank who rely on donations to serve nearly 900 residents a month.
"For people here on Whidbey Island sometimes it's the choice between heat or eat," said Karen Korbelik of Good Cheer Food Bank. "Luckily for them, for us as a community we have the food bank for them to bank on."
"I think it's really important to help the other people and to help support the food bank, cause if they run out of food a lot of people will be much more hungry," said Spencer.
Last year Spencer had a goal of raising 500 pounds of food. Instead, he raised over 1,700.
"Every year he tries to outdo himself which is just the most amazing thing. That it's not just enough that he gives up the opportunity to get presents on his birthday, but he makes an effort every year to go bigger," said Karen. "I've never seen anything quite like it."
He may have given up birthday gifts, but what Spencer has given back to his community, means so much more.
Karen said, "Because of his heart and his mind as it is now a young man, I can see great things in his future."
You can support Spencer's efforts on his Facebook Page.