EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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December 20, 2013

Iowa family pays it forward with son's final wish

(Continued)

CLINTON, Iowa —

During her visit, Bonnie made a monetary donation of approximately $600 to the Shop with a Cop event, giving each child an additional $20 to spend on themselves or their loved ones during the shopping adventure.

For the children, it was an extra pair of gloves for Dad, or a new sweater for Mom, but for Brashaw and other volunteers, it was an act of generosity during a painful time.

"It's amazing through her heartache that she can still do something so amazing," Brashaw said. "I think it speaks to the kind of person that he was. For him to get that many people to donate to underprivileged kids is just an amazing thing."

Although they are fully committed to Stewart's idea, his family is not sure what inspired him to create the challenge.

Bonnie questions whether the idea came from a memory of his childhood, buying gifts from the giving tree and donating them to those less fortunate. His brother Brian wonders if it just came from his constant desire to make people happy.

"I don't know what prompted it for Stew," Brian said. "Maybe he was just happy because he just had a birthday, I don't know; he was always the person that would do anything for you."

The reason why is not the important part according to Bonnie. For her and the rest of her family, honoring Stewart's wishes and fulfilling a goal he had set for himself is what really matters.

"This is something that he came up with. It amazed me. It didn't surprise me, but it amazed me," Bonnie said. "Although people may say that Christmas is not about gifts, it is about giving. And I think that's what Stewart was doing - he was giving."

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