Nat Ellis is a 50-year-old business and marketing teacher at Klamath Union High School in Klamath Falls, Oregon, who also happens to have a rather impressive collection of Happy Meal toys. The collection — totaling over 1,139 pieces — includes a complete Peter Pan pirate ship set, as well as Star Wars figures, Beanie Babies and Furbies. Ellis had planned to sell it when he got older to supplement his income in retirement. But he recently decided to put the collection up for auction on eBay and donate all of the proceeds to a young boy in his community that he has never met.
Logan Roninger is a 4-year-old Oregon boy with bright eyes and a sweet smile. He also has a neuromuscular condition called spinal muscular atrophy — a disease that causes muscle weakness and prevents him from walking, crawling or even getting dressed without assistance. Eventually, Logan's condition may affect his ability to swallow and breathe.
But right now he spends as much time as he can playing outdoors and going on adventures. Logan's parents, Trisha and Robert, are wildlife and fisheries biologists, respectively, so they enjoy spending lots of time outdoors fishing and camping. Logan loves these adventures too, but his current ride — a standard power wheelchair — limits his ability to explore outdoors.
"Logan, like any other 4-yr old boy, loves to play in the dirt and rocks. He is very adept at controlling his motorized wheelchair, but there are limits to where his chair can take him," said Logan's parents on the website they set up on YouCaring to fundraise for a new wheelchair for their son.
Trisha and Robert would like to purchase a wheelchair called a Tankchair that would give Logan more mobility outdoors.
"This tracked wheel chair will give Logan the opportunity to have independent mobility in the woods, at the beach, or any other place a 4-year old boy and his parents like to go outside," said his YouCaring page.
But Tankchairs cost around $17,000, a price that is not covered by insurance. So Trisha and Robert have been fundraising online and within their community. When Ellis heard about Logan and about the efforts to raise money for the boy's new chair, he decided to sell his collection and donate the proceeds to the cause.
“Life’s not about us. It’s about other people. So the best thing you can do is help as many people as possible,” Ellis told ABC News.
Ellis has been collecting the toys for the past 25 years. The teacher recently put his collection up for auction on eBay. But when the auction ended, winner Ruth Olsen donated the collection back to Ellis so he could put it up for auction again to raise more money for Logan.
The new auction ends on June 16.
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