The cost of renovations to a century-old home that has been in the family for three generations brought a Wisconsin woman perilously close to eviction, until her 12-year-old grandson stepped in.
"I wasn't even sure I was going to make it," Noah Lamaide said of his fundraising effort.
The budding philanthropist raised $10,500 in the course of a month, saving his grandmother's Stevens Point home from a scheduled auction date of Feb. 15.
Janice Sparhawk, 72, fell behind on mortgage payments in 2010 after taking out money to put a new roof on her home, a home with rich family history, partially built by her grandfather and the birthplace of her mother.
"My Grandma incase you don't know her has a heart of gold. She has given so much to our community since I can remember!!!" Noah posted Jan. 5, 2012, on his website, Noah's Dream Catcher Network.
Sparhawk, who has served as a foster parent to hundreds of Wisconsin children, also found herself unable to work after complications from eye surgery and severe asthma, making it even more difficult to make up what she owed.
"It means a lot to be here in my house" she said. "[Noah] is a special boy."
The boy signed a batch of checks Monday from donors living in his town to as far as California, over to the Portage County Bank.
Noah said he was just following the example set by his mother and grandmother.
"He's always putting others before himself, even as a little child," Noah's mother, Jill Sparhawk Lamaide, said. "I think he got it from seeing the foster kids come into my mom's home. A majority of them said I wish, 'I could be Noah.'"
Janice Sparhawk said the family has "never lived a life without somebody else in it," whether that meant serving as a foster family or doing charity work. The example rubbed off on Noah.
It started with a challenge Lamaide's mother made to her then 9-year-old son: do one community service project each year.
For most 9 year olds, forgoing birthday gifts for donations to a food bank would result in a tantrum. For Noah, however, it was just the right thing to do.
"In our home, I encourage teamwork. We're not just a family, we're a team," Jill Sparhawk Lamaide said.
With the help of his mother, Noah created the website to help raise money for the budding philanthropist's projects.
Noah fell short of his goal last year to send a family friend with cancer, her husband and daughter to Disneyland. The friend's mother died before the family could make the trip.
"He was a little discouraged by that," Lamaide said.
The girl left on the trip with her father two weeks ago. Lamaide has also organized a picnic for veterans.
The budding philanthropist said he has yet to identify his next project but promised to keep making a difference.
"It just makes me feel happy and like I did something to help the world," he said.