Boy donates birthday presents to sick children

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- We've all been taught it is better to give than to receive and on Thursday a six-year-old boy put that axiom into motion.

Matteo Platti decided to give all of the gifts from his birthday party to the children at Phoenix Children's Hospital.

"I'm sending them to the hospital so everyone gets one," said Platti. "Because they never get to celebrate their birthday."

PCH's Birthday Club gives children the opportunity to donate presents they receive to the many young patients that go through the hospital every year.

When Platti and his mother Sue heard about the program, they decided to act.

"As a parent you want your kids to see the world as an opportunity to help others," said Platti's mother Sue.

At first Matteo wasn't so sure he wanted to give up the gifts from his sixth birthday party. But when he thought about the kids in the hospital that didn't get to go out and celebrate their birthday he decided that is exactly what he wanted to do.

"We wanted to giveaway these so they get to have fun and play," said Matteo.

So on Thanksgiving the kindergartner went to the hospital and gave away all 18 of his gifts.

As a special treat, he even was allowed to deliver one of those gifts to toddler Elliana Neves. The little girl suffers from a rare digestive disorder and has spent every holiday in the hospital this year.

Neves' mother was very grateful for Matteo's generosity. 

"It makes me melt. It makes me cry a lot," said Stephanie Neves. "She had a rough morning and it's making her day and he'll never know how much he's changed her whole day."

Platti's mother could not have been more proud of her son for his kindness and generosity.

"He whispered in my ear 'mom this is the best day in my life.' So I do think he really understood. I think I was able to help him understand that as humans we love to help each other and it feels good, said Stephanie Neves. "Hopefully he'll always grow up knowing he can make a difference,"

The hospital uses the donated toys for everything from the play rooms to celebrating birthdays to celebrating the end of cancer treatments.

At Christmastime they set up a store for the families to come down and pick out gifts for their children.

"We're very grateful to have the ability to provide gifts to our kids that we normally couldn't just because of the financial strain that being in a hospital places on you," said Neves.