Backpacks and inspiration

Minot’s Bob Gross, a painter and handyman, is at it again. This time he’s giving out free backpacks to any kid who lacks one.

Whether he truly realizes it or not, Gross is also inspiring hundreds of people through his generous giving.

How could one not be impressed and moved by the way Gross has chosen to remember his late nephew DaySun Gross, who died in a car accident near Roosevelt Park 16 years ago?

Sixteen years. Has it really been that long? It must seem even longer for Gross and the rest DaySun’s family.

For 13 of those many years Bob Gross has been honoring DaySun and keeping his memory alive by giving away bicycles, winter coats, school supplies and backpacks to kids in need. It hasn’t always been bicycles, but hundreds of brand new bikes have been donated over the years to kids so happy to have them.

This year it’s backpacks.

The event – DaySun’s Day of Giving -will be held Friday at 6:30 p.m. near the park bench in Roosevelt Park that also honors DaySun.

This year, Gross received help from Farm Credit Services and Hershfield’s Paint and Coating to get the backpacks, while the Commission on Aging gave Gross a place to store the backpacks until the event.

Asked about his motivation, in a recent interview Gross said DaySun was big on giving too. And, Gross admits he gets a lot of joy out of what he does. But he doesn’t seek recognition. Simply put, giving to others fills a need inside him.

“I don’t need a pat on the back, I just love giving,” Gross said.

A sentiment so pure.

“I just love giving.”