Gift of Love: Donald, 9 Year Old Athlete - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/3/06 - Tyler

Gift of Love: Donald, 9 Year Old Athlete

He's a small boy with a big spirit, especially for sports. When he's not playing baseball, Donald is on the football field. "I play safety, linebacker and on offense I play wide receiver," says Donald wiping sweat from his brow after hitting baseballs at MVP on Deck Battling Cages in Tyler.

This nine year old boy is also a hard worker. He says, "I like practicing cause it gets us ready for the games."

Sports is usually on his mind, in some form. "I also like sports cards," he says taking another swing at the baseball.

Donald has a sweet personality with a lot of potential and he enjoys school. "It's good. I like 4th grade. The time goes by fast."

This young boy was removed from his home about a year and a half ago. His mother was unable to care for him. "She got sick," says Donald with sad eyes.

"Due to his mom's mental illness, she felt like there were people out there who were poisoning the children. So she would not allow them to drink water out of the faucet. She also stopped feeding them," explains Sogunda Kelly, Donald's caseworker.

As a result, Sogunda says it has left Donald cautious. "He does have some trust issues because he feels that everything he's ever had has been taken from him."

Despite his past, Donald is a fighter. "I like to win because it feels good and sometimes we get a trophy," he says with a sparkle in his eye.

Sogunda says, "He's very competitive. He likes to finish things first. He wants to be ahead. He's competitive in a very good way."

Donald needs a good male role model in his life, something he hasn't had before. He gets along well with others and wants to be involved in a family. "I take out the trash, clean my room and I'm learning how to do the dishes."

But he knows there is more to a family than just chores, and it's the Gift of Love he's looking forward to the most.

Donald is currently placed with his 16 year old brother. His caseworker says it will be important for him to maintain a relationship with him.

If you'd like to know more about Donald call our Gift of Love hotline, toll-free, 1-888-kids-275.

Gillian Sheridan, Reporting 

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