For some people, winning prizes out of the claw machine is an achievement worth holding on to the winnings.
Peyton Blackburn, 11, however, saw it as an opportunity to give back. Blackburn, a sixth grader at Dublin Middle School, collected stuffed animals won out of the claw machines at various Walmarts and other locations around the area over the past year.
Once he had enough, he donated them to the pediatric cancer ward of Roanoke Memorial Hospital. According to his father, Ryan Blackburn, Peyton was inspired to donate his toys for his relatives who died of cancer, including his uncle, cousins, and great-grandmother.
“It just tears my heart up,” Blackburn said. “Nobody has told him what to do, he came up with this one his own, it was all him completely.”
Blackburn also noted that his son is a “master” at playing the claw machines, and can sometimes manage to pull out two prizes at one time. Peyton collected about 40 stuffed animals pulled from the machines, which were then given to the 35 patients in the pediatric ward.
Although this is the first time Peyton has thought to do something like this, he hopes to make his donations an annual event, as he continues to play the claw machines and win what’s inside.
In awe of his selfless act, Blackburn said that his son’s charity is a positive reflection on his upbringing.
“It just shows that if you raise a kid right, they’re going to appreciate it in the long run,” said Blackburn.