Boy, 7, gives savings to vandalised mosque

Jack Swanson (left) received the surprise gift of an iPad in the mail, after he had emptied out his piggy bank to hand US$20 (S$28) to Mr Faisal Naeem (below), in a gesture of support on learning that the mosque had been vandalised.
Jack Swanson (above) received the surprise gift of an iPad in the mail, after he had emptied out his piggy bank to hand US$20 (S$28) to Mr Faisal Naeem, in a gesture of support on learning that the mosque had been vandalised.PHOTOS: YOUTUBE
Jack Swanson (left) received the surprise gift of an iPad in the mail, after he had emptied out his piggy bank to hand US$20 (S$28) to Mr Faisal Naeem (below), in a gesture of support on learning that the mosque had been vandalised.
Jack Swanson received the surprise gift of an iPad in the mail, after he had emptied out his piggy bank to hand US$20 (S$28) to Mr Faisal Naeem (above), in a gesture of support on learning that the mosque had been vandalised.PHOTOS: YOUTUBE

TEXAS • A seven-year-old boy who last week donated all his savings to a mosque in Texas after it was vandalised has received an unexpected gift in return.

The Islamic Centre of Pflugerville, Texas was the target of a hate crime on Monday morning, with a perpetrator reportedly smearing faeces and leaving torn pages of the Quran at the entrance.

When told by his mother of the news later that morning, Jack Swanson emptied US$20 (S$28) in coins from his piggy bank and handed over the money to the mosque.

The mosque did not suffer any physical damage, and clean-up costs were said to be about US$150.

While news of Jack's donation went viral, it was not the end of the story.

He received a surprise package in the mail later in the week, which turned out be an Apple iPad that came with a thank-you note from the "American Muslim Community".

It read: "Dear Jack, you had saved $20 in your piggy bank for an Apple iPad, but then a local Islamic mosque was vandalised. So you donated your $20 to them... Because of your amazing generosity and kind heart, please enjoy this Apple iPad with our sincere thanks."

Reports said the gift was from Mr Arsalan Iftikhar, an international human rights lawyer.

Mr Faisal Naeem, a board member at the mosque, who took the donation from Jack, was quoted as saying: "It's 20 bucks, but coming from Jack collecting his pennies, it's worth 20 million bucks to me and to our community.

"This gives me hope because this means it's not one versus the other."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 22, 2015, with the headline 'Boy, 7, gives savings to vandalised mosque'. Print Edition | Subscribe