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Tooele man donates birthday money to nominated community member

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Posted at 3:32 PM, Dec 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-06 17:32:26-05

TOOELE, Utah — For the third year in a row, Don Jarvis donated his ‘birthday money’ to a member of the Tooele County community.

Don asked for nominations in early December 2017 on the Tooele County 411 Facebook page and has done so each year since.

“You know, I really don’t need anything so I might as well make somebody else have a smile especially you know, it’s especially a bad year this year with COVID and all that,” Jarvis told Fox13’s Brian Schnee on Sunday afternoon. “The first year we did about five people, last year I think we did a couple, this year we did one, but we put more in the card this year.”

Don’s birthday is December 6. After receiving more than 180 nominations this year, he and his wife narrowed down the 180 to four and eventually chose a local couple, who they believed could best use the financial assistance.

“They’re down on their luck,” said Jarvis of this year’s recipients. “It’s exactly what I was looking for to give a smile to.”

Jarvis estimates he and his wife have given away roughly $1,000 over the last three years. Their generosity also inspired a ‘giving train’ from other members of the community separate from Jarvis’ annual birthday giveaway.

Read: Tooele residents spread holiday cheer through ‘Pay it Forward’ campaign

“Three years ago, it really kicked off a huge thing for Tooele here,” Jarvis said. “Everybody was offering donations and money and people were getting their rent paid, getting groceries paid, I did not expect that at all, I just did it just to give my birthday money away.”

Don says he’ll continue to give away his birthday money as long as he’s here.

“I love doing this, I save up some money from this and that,” Jarvis said. “It would be great if more people would do this.”