I have a new hero. He's just a little Faribault guy, but man, does he have a big heart.

Seven-year-old Lincoln Elementary first-grader Matt Koktavy is my new hero.

Last week he donated 334 new stuffed animals to various law enforcement agencies to assist kids in need.

The Faribault Police Department highlighted his efforts last week and pointed out he partnered with the organization Fuzz for Fozz and Frontier Communications in Burnsville.

Matt asked friends and neighbors to help him raise money, and one of those families matched everything he was able to raise.

He raised $420. Remember this is a 7-year-old first-grader.

The picture from the Faribault Police Department is Matt posing with Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen and Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn. He presented 130 new stuffed animals to the law enforcement officials.

Bohlen and Dunn say the stuffed animals will be put to good use by being given to kids in need.

If a 7-year-old first-grader can do this, why can't we all?

Matt Koktavy, you are my new hero. Thanks for showing all of us if you put your mind toward accomplishing something you can achieve the goal with a lot of resolve and good heart.

This Wednesday, please come to the Faribault Legion and help me and others peel potatoes, dice them up and mash them and carve up turkeys for the Faribault Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner.

Those efforts cost you no cash, just a couple hours of your time.

If that doesn't appeal to you, we can always use people to deliver meals on Thanksgiving morning or be a waiter or waitress for the sit-down meal at the Legion from 11AM to 2PM.

Julie Fox and Jim Pagel were on a recent AM Minnesota and said they are involved because they want to give back to the community they love.

My efforts aren't that noble; I simply enjoy it. Yes, I have fun peeling potatoes because of the people I get the opportunity to peel them with.

Give it a try and you just might find yourself having fun, too.

Let's all follow Matt Koktavy and do something that helps others.

Matt Koktavy with Chief Bohlen and Sheriff Dunn
Matt Koktavy with Chief Bohlen and Sheriff Dunn