11-Year-Old Donates Winnings to Foster Care System

Source: Southern Living

Eleven-year-old Allan Baltz of Jonesboro, Arkansas, grew up in the foster care system. At the age of four, he and his twin sister Alice were fostered by Derek and Lesli Baltz.

The Baltz’s became foster parents with the intention of helping kids reunite with their families. However, that changed when reunification was no longer an option for Allan and Alice.

“We were really terrified that we weren’t good enough parents to keep them forever,” said Lesli Baltz. “So, we really worked through that a lot, and it became obvious that they were meant to be ours whether we felt like we were good enough or not.”

As a result, in 2015 the twins were officially adopted, two years after they entered the Baltz home.

Grateful for his parents, young Allan wanted to do something to make a difference – so at the start of the pandemic when his family began playing with their hairstyles in their free time, Allan decided to grow a mullet.

“He really fell in love with it,” she said. “He thought it was hysterical. It was hideous, and it embarrassed his sister. Everywhere he went, people were like ‘Nice hair, man.’ He thinks it’s the greatest thing, and he really owns it.”

Encouraged by friends to enter the USA Mullet Championships competition, Allan was initially hesitant. However, upon learning there was a cash prize he leaped at the opportunity.

“He instantly was like ‘Oh, OK. I can do it, and we’ll give the money to kids in foster care,'” Lesli said. “He didn’t hesitate. He didn’t say, ‘I can get a bike, then give some money away.’ It was just instant that he wanted to give it away.”

Dawning one of his favorite suits and father’s mountain biking sunglasses, he submitted photos to the competition. After gaining more than 25,000 votes in his favor to his entire family’s surprise he won the competition and its $2,500 prize. 

Wanting to pay it forward, Allan split his winnings between two local foster care organizations, Together We Foster and Project Zero.

“People also started volunteering … and donating clothing, beds, and diapers,” Lesli said. “A few people that we know decided to start fostering because of Allan’s story. The way that people hear it and it inspires them to do something about the foster care crisis is really incredible. We’re just sitting back in awe and hoping that it continues to inspire more people to make a difference.”

Source: Southern Living