KALISPELL — Do you remember what presents you asked for when you turned 12 years old? Maybe a new bicycle, baseball cards, or a pizza party?
Jack Gorman of Kalispell - who turned 12 on October 25 - asked his dad James for a special birthday present. Only this present wasn’t for him.
Jack told his dad he wished to donate money to the Flathead Food Bank.
“Just something I’ve had on my mind for a while, yeah, it was something special, really,” said Jack.
Something special indeed, as Jack and James drove down to the food bank and donated $5,000 through James’s company, Titan Asphalt.
“I just wanted to give back to the community, really.”
Jack gave back in a big way, catching Flathead Food Bank Executive Director Chris Sidmore by surprise.
“I was in shock. I mean yesterday it was snowing for the first time and I thought man, I feel like I’m in a Hallmark movie, I was just blown away by the generosity,” said Sidmore.
The Gormans and food bank staff drove to Costco and filled 12 grocery carts full of food.
“Thanks to Jack we got 3,000 pounds of food and we figure that will feed hundreds of people.”
Inside Costco, shoppers caught on to Jack’s birthday gift and wanted chip in on the fun.
“Had people handing us money down the hallways of the grocery store,” said Jack.
“Everybody was singing and clapping for him and wishing him happy birthday, saying here’s $20, here’s $40, here’s $15, how can we be a part of this? So, the young guy inspired a lot of people,” added Sidmore.
Jack said his main goal is to inspire others while helping his neighbors going through hard times in the Flathead.
“Just knowing that peoples going to have some food tonight,” said Jack.
“I’m from the Valley and I tell you what, ever since I started working here I’ve never been so proud of the Valley. You know seeing young guys like Jack, you know I was telling my grandma, I said is it okay to have a 12-year-old as my role model? And the answer is yes,” said Sidmore.
Sidmore said the Gorman's generosity has inspired others in the community to donate including Pierce Manufacturing donating $1,000, and Spring Hill Suites promising vouchers for five nights of stays to be raffled off.