MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - A pumpkin harvest in central Minnesota proves there is plenty of hope for our future. WCCO met a young man named Emmitt in Monticello and found his giant gourds are no match for the size of his heart.
"Here's a big one," Emmitt Cox said, pointing to his pumpkins. "This is the biggest one."
Like any good country boy, 5-year-old Emmitt is proud of his crops. He can even tell you how much one costs to take home.
"This one is four," he said, holding up four fingers.
But what began as some father and son bonding last year has grown into something more.
"Him and his father are both farm boys, any excuse to get out on the tractor and in the dirt," Emmitt's mother, Anna Cox, said.
Their patch last season produced some 200 pumpkins, so many they weren't sure what to do with them all.
"We thought this would be a good opportunity for Emmitt to learn how to make his own money and manage funds. So we said, 'Emmitt if you want to try to sell some we'd be more than happy to help you with that,'" Anna said.
An honor system they set up on the side of the road.
"Every night he was excited to check the box and put the money in his jar," she said.
After earning $400 and some teaching at home about how money can be used to help others, Emmitt made his decision.
"He mentioned his pumpkin money and [we] said, 'if you want to donate some of it that's totally fine,' and he said, 'nope I'm going to donate it all,'" Anna said.
And Emmitt did just that donating his profits to Toys For Tots.
"He got to do a little bit of a shopping spree and fill this cart to the top," she said.
Ardis Strommen is one of the Coxs' neighbors.
"For a 5-year-old to be that anxious to help people, it's amazing," Strommen said.
Friends and community members were back again this fall to pitch in, even when the crop wasn't as plentiful.
"We didn't get much this year," Emmitt said. "Some of the seeds did not grow. Not much rain."
Still, it was a successful harvest where it mattered most.
"I hope that's the lesson people can really get from this, is that [if] a 5-year-old can put others before himself, maybe we all can," Anna said.
All of Emmitt's pumpkins are spoken for this year and he plans to donate the $100 he's raised this season to build a new playground at his church.
His brother, Paul, is just one and will someday be Emmitt's pumpkin partner.
When asked how long he plans to sell his pumpkins Emmitt said for at least the next 60 years.
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