Skip to main content

A Fargo boy used his Xbox savings to pay for a village's well (guess what he just got)

After the 9-year-old changed his mind about how to spend the money he'd been saving, he was rewarded with a gift

A 9-year-old Fargo boy had a change of heart. And the story warmed hearts around the country – making him a living example of the old adage about it being better to give than receive.

Here's what happened:

Josiah's generosity

It was a couple of weeks ago when WDAY ran a story about Josiah Shaffer, who had been saving his allowance (25 cents per chore) to buy an Xbox.

After a whole year of saving he was approaching his goal. That's when he changed gears and decided that instead of spending his earnings on an Xbox for himself, he would buy a well for an entire village in India.

A friend had told him about the Water Well Ministry run by a pentecostal church group, which says a $240 donation can provide clean water for 3,000 people for 10 years.

"What's the point of one person being happy when 3,000 people can be happy?" Josiah rhetorically asked the TV station. "If you think about it there's no reason for it to be that tough of a decision, really."

The epilogue

The story about the selfless boy caught the eye of a grown man who happens to share the same name.

So a 35-year-old Josiah Shaffer in Ohio sent a letter to the 9-year-old one in Fargo (via WDAY), telling the boy he was a hero for the decision he made – and sending him a gift.

Well, the gift starts with an X and ends with a box.

His parents told the station they've learned about giving from watching their 9-year-old and Josiah said he'll remember the importance of giving when he picks up his Xbox controller.

The need for clean drinking water

The cause that triggered Josiah's donation is a global problem.

Water Well Ministry says about 1 billion people lack access to clean drinking water. The group uses a network of churches and missionaries to dig wells in villages that need them. The water not only allows villagers to drink but also to raise livestock and irrigate crops, the ministry says.

Many other organizations are doing similar work.

Oasis World Ministries says in India 80 percent of the population lacks clean water. They say the World Health Organization has estimated that 80 percent of the world's disease is the result of contaminated drinking water.

Other groups working to help include Living Water International, Samaritan's Purse International Relief, Life Today, Life Water International, and Hydromissions International.

Next Up

ambulance

Man dies after being 'punched in the head' during altercation in Duluth

A 46-year-old man is in custody and facing 1st-degree manslaughter charges.

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders says Zimmer, Spielman hadn't spoken 'in months'

Sanders' comments revealed some of the Vikings' issues last season.

police tape, crime scene

Brooklyn Park man pleads guilty in 2020 fatal drive-by shooting

Devon Manley will be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 7.48.35 AM

Man gets 10 years for fatal pawn shop fire during Minneapolis riots

The incident, which took place during riots in May 2020,  resulted in one man's death.

Rep. Ilhan Omar

Election officials dismiss conservative group's complaint against Rep. Ilhan Omar

The group alleged that she used campaign funds on her future husband's consulting firm.

Screen Shot 2022-01-15 at 9.53.04 AM

Reports: 6 names surface in Vikings' search for new head coach

Six names have surfaced Saturday in the Minnesota Vikings' hunt for a new head coach.

Pexels - face mask covid holding

Minnetonka approves mask mandate in emergency ordinance

The mandate officially goes into effect Monday night.

snow, measuring snow, snow totals

Here are the snow totals from Friday's winter storm in Minnesota

There was a sharp gradient around the Twin Cities, with the highest amounts in southwestern Minnesota.

Mats Zuccarello

Zuccarello scores twice, Wild win third straight

A team effort helped Minnesota dispatch the Ducks.

Rep. Tou Xiong

State lawmaker Tou Xiong apologizes after driving under the influence

The state representative was pulled over on the night of Jan. 8.

St Lukes Duluth GSV Pro

Duluth hospital requiring visitors to show vax proof, neg. test

The health care system is also tightening visitor guidelines.

ridgeview urgent care facebook

Ridgeview halting urgent care at a Twin Cities site 'until further notice'

The organization cited "growing emergency medical needs" at the facility.

Related

A Fargo boy used his Xbox savings to pay for a village's well (guess what he just got)

After the 9-year-old changed his mind about how to spend the money he'd been saving, he was rewarded with a gift

Buy this label's music and they'll donate it to Standing Rock protesters

All of the proceeds from Sacred Bones Records are donated Standing Rock water protesters through Dec. 4.

To honor her son, MN mother started a pet fostering service for deployed troops

When members of the U.S. military are deployed, who takes care of their pets?

To honor her son, MN mother started a pet fostering service for deployed troops

When members of the U.S. military are deployed, who takes care of their pets?

Good job giving a lot of money on Give to the Max Day, everyone!

52,335 unique donors gave out 110,602 gifts, to 5,756 different organizations.

Winners! MN group behind America's first domestic violence shelter gets prize

Women's Advocates gets $64,000 from the Opus Foundation for winning the online vote

Winners! MN group behind America's first domestic violence shelter gets prize

Women's Advocates gets $64,000 from the Opus Foundation for winning the online vote

Unhappy with the election? Here are 5 things you can do about it

Instead of moving to Canada or sleeping for the next four years, there are lots of things you can do to channel the post-election blues into something productive.