Virginia boy saves 268k arcade tickets, gives back to families in need

Published: Sep. 6, 2018 at 1:16 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 6, 2018 at 12:14 PM EDT
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OCEAN CITY, MD (WTVM) - Talan Carruthers is your typical 12-year-old boy who enjoys going to a local arcade and racking up on tickets to cash in on big prizes.

But, what makes this story special is the mind behind this Maryland boy which is set on giving back to others at such a young age.

Talan, his father Brian Carruthers and family are regulars to the "Funcade" arcade on the Boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland. Over the last year he collected 268,000 tickets by winning games.

Last Friday, Talan decided to head up to the arcade, but this time he was taking the over 200,000 tickets and trading them for prizes and not to keep for himself.

"I wanted to help kids have a better Christmas," he said, "because there are a lot of kids that don't get any presents."

Talan uses money he earns from chores, holidays and birthdays to spend at the arcade while vacationing at the beach during summertime.

He carefully picked out a gaming console, tablets, bicycles, a flat-screen TV, along with much more all to give to needy families during the upcoming holiday season.

The gifts are distributed through his family's church and this year plans to give to families as far away as Guatemala are in the works.

"I could not be more proud of Talan's kind heart and generous spirit," said Talan's mother, Haley Bowman Barbaro.

This year marks the second year Talan, with the help of his father,  has embarked on a bigger mission during the holiday season to use something as simple as arcade tickets to ultimately bring joy to other children and families across the world.

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