The typical 8-year-old boy, if he came into possession of $90, would head straight for the toy store. But that’s not what Robert Shields did.

First, it’s important to know that Robert earned his $90 doing yard work with his grandfather and father over the summer. “We mowed grass and raked,” says Robert, “and hooked a cable to the back of the tractor and put leaves in the middle and dragged them to the leaf pile.”

Robert helped his grandpa at a number of people’s homes. “He loves to help,” says Robert’s grandmother, Denise Shields. “He helps me around the house with vacuuming and other things, and if he sees someone in distress he always wants to help them.”

When Robert overheard his grandparents discussing how Farm to Fork in Ringgold is helping foster children who need assistance getting school supplies, the youngster knew immediately what he would do with the money he’d earned.

“Robert heard us say there are 135 foster children in Catoosa County who needed backpacks and supplies to start school with this year,” says Shields. “He came to us and said that’s what he wanted to use his $90 for.”

Shields took her grandson and his 10-year-old sister McKayla to Walmart. Each chose a backpack, one for a boy and one for a girl. Robert says he let his sister choose supplies for the girl’s pack while he chose items for a boy.

On Tuesday evening, July 31, Robert and McKayla presented the backpacks to Lorie Harris, co-owner of Farm to Fork, who will pass the packs along to a friend who works with foster children.

When Robert returns to school this year at Tiger Creek Elementary, where he says his favorite subjects are lunch, recess and spelling, he’ll be able to feel good knowing that two children in his county are starting their school year with a pack full of new supplies thanks to his kind heart.