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Banjo playing boy strums up donations for Shriner's Hospital

8-year-old Sam Gillespie raised more than $300 for Shriner's Hospital by playing his banjo in the backyard.

MASCOUTAH, Ill. — A little boy and his banjo are taking one Metro East community by storm to support Shriner’s Hospital.

"I got it for my 8th birthday,” said Sam Gillespie.

In an effort to break up the boredom that can often go along with the dog days of summer, 8-year-old Sam Gillespie broke out his banjo and stood outside playing along to his own beat.

"I just started strumming out,” said Sam Gillespie. “It was a pretty good time."

After a while, some of the neighbors started to take notice and reached out to his mom.

"She's like your son has his banjo, and his hat is on a table, and it says 1 cent on the sign,” said Kelsey Gillespie.

"A teacher gave me $10,” said Sam Gillespie. “A person came by and didn't pay attention to the sign and gave me $1 and two quarters. Two special quarters!"

By the end of the day, this little boy and his banjo had raised more than $300.

"I wanted to get a movie camera,” said Sam Gillespie. “Then I decided maybe we can give it to the kids in the hospital instead!"

"Of course as a mom your heart just kind of stops for a second,” said Kelsey Gillespie. “You're like, what?

"It's just kind of good to help kids out in the hospital,” said Sam Gillespie.

With the start of school just around the corner, Sam ended his summer on a high note, when he donated his score to Shriner's Hospital.

"Since I decided for the Shriners I've just been playing it up a storm,” said Sam Gillespie.

"Let your kids be inspired,” said Kelsey Gillespie. “A lot of people are like, 'you're letting your kid stand out there and ask for money?' Well, you never know what their heart is telling them to do until you let them go through it." 

If Sam's story, or his music, struck a chord in your heart you can still donate to Shriner's by clicking here.

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