Clear Lake boy spends money buying Christmas presents for others | Mason City and Northern Iowa

Christmas Spirit hugged one lucky boy earlier this month, and he’s eager to cheer him on.

Jacob Boller, a sixth grader from Clear Lake, was returning from school one cold December day when he saw money out of the corner of his eye.

Jacob Boller - $100 bill

The $100 bill Jacob Boller found was pinned to the family refrigerator as he waited for someone to claim it.


Melinda, Jacob’s mother, heard her daughter scream “it’s not fair!” from inside their home. Jacob found the $100 bill on the ground.

At first, Melinda was surprised, she didn’t believe it was real. Father Josh Boller joked about the cash, “the first thing I did was look in my wallet to make sure I didn’t lose any of it.”

Naturally, they took it to the bank. Not for a deposit, but to make sure they don’t get scammed. But the Halloween tricks are over, and the Christmas bill is real.

“We went to the police to see if it belonged to anyone (the money),” Jacob recounts their next move. Police told him no one had called about a missing bill, and after asking around, Jacob pinned it to the fridge and waited for someone to call.

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For eight days, that bill was stuck on the refrigerator. No one ever claimed that. After waiting for the right time, Jacob’s parents told him it was his money and he could spend it however he wanted.

“His first reaction wasn’t to spend money on himself, it didn’t even cross his mind,” Jacob’s father smiled. It was a proud moment for Jacob’s parents as he made his choice.

Jacob knew right away that he wanted to go toy shopping, so he could help other kids have a great Christmas like his.

Jacob Boller

Standing in front of his family’s Christmas tree, Jacob Boller, a sixth grader at Clear Lake, explains how he spent the $100 he found on Toys For Tots.

Gretchen Burnette

With the Christmas spirit in their hearts, the Boller family headed to Target. With a hundred dollars on hand, Jacob buys games and toys for kids who need extra Christmas cheer.

It was Madilyn’s sister’s suggestion to give gifts to the Giving Tree. When they got there, they saw that the God of Giving had dropped the stump and had already stuffed their skirts full of presents, so they went elsewhere, looking for another group to donate.

The Bollers decided to give their toys to Chad Harrison at CPA, each Toys for Tots donation would be matched with another toy, doubling the amount Jacob had donated.

“Chad has always been[donations matched],” said Tina Swart, office administrator at Chad Harrison CPA. for children on the occasion of Christmas”.

Jacob Boller - Toys for Tots

Clear Lake sixth grader Jacob Boller poses with toys he just bought for Toys for Tots, using a $100 bill he found last week.

Lisa Grouette

With the right amount of donations at CPA, what started as a lucky find for Jacob Boller turned into 14 Christmas gifts for the community.

“I feel like I’ve had a pretty good Christmas so far, so I hope that others can feel the same way,” Jacob said.

Jacob Boller, 8, makes $100 a day after school. After searching for the owner, he decided to use the money to spread Christmas cheer for others.


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