CARLSBAD — Hope Elementary School fourth-grader Luke Nelson made known his wish for his 9th birthday: to grant the wish of 10-year-old Carlos, a video game-loving boy in Paradise Hills with a life-threatening liver disease.
Carlos is hoping to visit Nintendo headquarters to meet the creators of Super Mario Brothers. In lieu of gifts, Luke asked his friends to donate money to the Make-A-Wish Foundation to make Carlos’ wish a reality.
At a school assembly on his birthday, Sept. 17, Luke was surprised to receive everything he wished for and more. More than $600 was raised by his fellow students from kindergarten through fifth grade at Hope.
Principal Richard Tubbs surprised Nelson at the assembly with the money donated through a quickly arranged “Dollar Donation Day.”
“A parent showed me the birthday invitation and wanted to recognize Luke for his compassion,” Tubbs said. “I thought it would be great as a school to support Luke’s wish. I asked each student to bring at least one dollar for the cause.”
At the event, a humble but smiling Luke listened while his parents beamed as Principal Tubbs read Luke’s letter to the assembled students, staff and families. He had written, “I feel so lucky to be healthy and to have a good life. I feel bad that all kids can’t be healthy and so many kids need help. I wish I could make all the sad kids’ wishes come true. If you really want to wish me a happy birthday, please help me make Carlos’ wish come true.”
After presenting Luke with the money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Principal Tubbs unveiled a new school program based on Luke’s selfless act. Luke became the first recipient of the Hope Kindness Coin, not to be kept, but passed along throughout the year to other Hope students who demonstrate amazing acts of kindness.
Carlsbad Unified School District celebrates a significant character trait each month. September’s wistrictwide trait is citizenship.