Former La Rabida Children's Hospital patient donates first paycheck, toys to current patients

After starting a job at his father's automobile repair business during the holidays, Lawrence Clark Jr. on Dec. 20 donated $500 — all of the earnings from his first paycheck — along with two bags of toys to the patients of La Rabida Children's Hospital in Chicago.

Mr. Clark, 20, who has cerebral palsy, received care at the hospital on an inpatient and outpatient basis for most of his childhood.

"To see the smile on the kids' faces when you walk in with a bunch of toys, it made me feel really good," Mr. Clark, of suburban Calumet City, Ill., told DNA Info. "The hospital has done a lot for me, and that's why I'm able to be where I'm at today."

Mr. Clark's generosity elicited kind words from La Rabida President and CEO Brenda Wolf. "All of us at La Rabida are so struck by Lawrence's compassion for children with special needs," said Ms. Wolf, according to the report. "But those who know Lawrence know this is exactly the type of young man he is. His giving spirit is beyond appreciated at La Rabida, and we are honored that he chose to give back to our patients in such a special way."

A graduate of Thornton Fractional North High School in Calumet City, Mr. Clark is currently working toward an associates degree in automotive technology from Prairie State College in Chicago Heights, Ill., and plans to eventually take over his father's business, Buick Automotive, according to DNA Info. His current work there involves picking up and delivering parts, driving an adaptive vehicle with his hands, as well as running diagnostic check on cars for repairs.

Mr. Clark came up with the idea to donate the money and presents "to show the kids that you should never give up," according to the report. He said he expects to continue this giving tradition every holiday season.

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