Texas boy, 7, donates $20 savings to defaced mosque and gets an iPad as thank you present

Seven-year-old Jack Swanson passing his money to a member of the mosque.
Seven-year-old Jack Swanson passing his money to a member of the mosque. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

A seven-year-old boy who earlier this 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 in Texas was the target of a hate crime early Monday (Nov 16) 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, little Jack Swanson emptied US$20 (S$28.30) 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 estimated at about US$150.


Jack being interviewed by the media after his act of generosity. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE

Jack's mother, Laura Swanson, told ABC News that her son's generous gesture was to support the mosque and show that "what happened in Paris is not what's happening in Pflugerville", referring to the Nov 13 attacks in Paris.

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 iPad that came with a thank you note from the "American Muslim Community".

The note 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 Arsalan Iftikhar, an international human rights lawyer and senior editor of The Islamic Monthly magazine.

After getting in touch with Jack's mother through social media, Mr Arsalan learnt that the boy had been saving up for the last few months by doing household chores.

A board member at the mosque, Faisal Naeem, was also moved by Jack's actions.

"It's 20 bucks, but coming from Jack collecting his pennies it's worth 20 million bucks to me and to our community," he was quoted as saying.

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