Idaho boy raising chickens, selling eggs to help kids in need celebrate holidays

Jayden Gabbard
Posted at 12:19 PM, Nov 23, 2021

EMMETT, Idaho — The holiday season is fast approaching, serving as a reminder that Santa's helpers are everywhere.

In Idaho, one young boy is making sure no kid is forgotten by raising money and delivering good cheer by the dozen.

While taking care of his chickens several months ago, 7-year-old Jayden Gabbard decided he wanted to give back to his community.

Jayden is donating eggs from his family farm to help buy toys for other kids.

"He kind of came in and said, 'Hey, I was going to sell my eggs' for his PS5, is what he wanted to save money for, and it kind of turned into, 'Can I give it to Toys for Tots?'" Jayden's dad, Mike Gabbard, said.

Earlier this year, father and son put up banners and spread the word on Facebook.

The project hasn't been without its challenges — including run-ins with predators.

"We had a fox that hit us right at the beginning of June and it wiped out 10 to 12 of our laying stock." Mike Gabbard said.

"I was, felt a little sad when my turkey died and all of my 10 chickens died," Jayden said.

Even with the setback, Jayden didn't slow down — and his cystic fibrosis couldn't slow him down either. The genetic illness damages the lungs and digestive system.

"He takes an ungodly number of pills every day," Jayden's dad said.

Gabbard says he knew even before his son was born that they would face the challenge together. They do that by bonding together on the farm, taking care of the animals, and helping those who need it.

If you would like to help Jayden and Toys for Tots this holiday season, click here.

This story was originally published by Kristen Skovira on Scripps station KIVI in Boise, Idaho.