Mom Struggling Financially Sews Her Son’s Birthday Gift, Strangers See Post Online and Flood Boy with Gifts

By Darby Jones August 23, 2021
This mom was struggling to buy her son a birthday gift. She sewed one herself and posted it to Reddit, which led dozens of strangers to mail them toys, send money and more.

Tiffany Holloway’s son, Jonas, is obsessed with anything related to the ocean, and asked for a stuffed Manta Ray for his fifth birthday. However, Holloway quickly realized she could not afford one. 

“I saw that I had only $2,” she told The Washington Post. “There was no way I could afford even the cheapest Manta Ray that I saw for $20.”

Holloway had to get creative with only two weeks to go until her son’s birthday on Aug. 16. She sewed a stuffed manta ray from her son’s old baby blanket using a pattern she had drawn on a cardboard box.

“I sat on the couch until 1 in the morning, poking myself with that needle until I’d finally finished sewing it together,” said Holloway. “I took two buttons off one of my blouses and used those for eyes.”

The 33-year-old mother was so proud of her creation that she posted it to a poverty/finance Reddit thread, which she follows for finance tips. The post became number one on the platform with over 66,000 likes.

“This is so much better and more special than a store-bought manta ray could ever be,” one user commented.

“I figured I’d be lucky to hear from a couple of people. I thought I might get teased because the button eyes aren’t on straight,” said Holloway.

Dozens of people asked if they could send Jonas some additional birthday gifts, and Holloway accepted. Within days, packages filled with plush ocean creatures began showing up on their doorstep.

“I’ve never seen him so happy — I can’t thank people enough for making him feel special,” Holloway said. “I’ve been having a tough time financially and was feeling like a failure as a parent until this happened.”

Reddit users have also sent Holloway money that she used to pay for her classes and put into savings. “One man paid for us to go to the aquarium in Oklahoma City about 20 minutes away, and another person bought us tickets to the zoo,” she said. “In both places, Jonas was able to see manta rays for the first time and pet them.

“It’s not about the presents and money. It’s about love and humanity.”

Image source: The Washington Post