WTOP Top Kid: Fredericksburg boy with a big heart for others

Ramsey Belyamani, right, with orphaned children in the Philippines. (Courtesy Venise Lewis)

A 10-year-old boy from Fredericksburg, Virginia, is showing that he has a big enough heart to go around the world.

Ramsey Belyamani said his mom and dad have known the Shepherd of the Hills Children’s Foundation — an orphanage in the Philippines that cares for over 100 kids — for years.

“So I decided to try to help them because they don’t get as much stuff as I do,” Belyamani, a Fredericksburg Christian School fourth grader, told WTOP’s Matt Small.

He said he used his birthday money, lemonade stand money and Christmas money to get them toys — as well as donating toys he doesn’t play with as much and clothes that don’t fit him anymore.

“It felt good … to see how happy they were when they got it. It was really a real joy,” said Belyamani, an honor roll student.

Ramsey Belyamani with orphans at the beach in the Philippines. (Courtesy Venise Lewis)

He has a good friend who lives at the orphanage named Eric.

“He was the first one I met there. I was so awkward because it was my first time ever going there and I knew nobody,” Belyamani said.

His volunteer work isn’t only in the Philippines. Like his parents, he helps out at thrift stores. In particular, helping older shoppers lift items.

In return for his efforts, “They gave me a free snowboard,” Belyamani said.

He made sure to keep frontline workers battling the pandemic in mind and addressed and decorated more than 50 Valentine’s cards to be delivered to them too.

When Belyamani isn’t busy helping others, he’s busy with sports. He practices archery, plays basketball, football and “a lot” of soccer.

Ultimately, when he grows up, Belyamani is hoping to land on the roster of either the Golden State Warriors or the Lakers.

Of course, he takes time for his bearded dragon Felicia, who’s a bit feisty.

“You always have to look after her because we let her run around, because she needs to get exercise,” Belyamani said.

“When we go into another room and we’re not looking, she knows that we’re not looking, so she runs.”

Felicia hasn’t made any great escapes, but the last time she was found she was hiding behind a stack of books on Belyamani’s mom’s nightstand.

WTOP’s Matt Small contributed to this report.

This article is part of WTOP’s TOP Kids program, where kids in the D.C. area are recognized for the amazing things they do. The winners are awarded $500. The program is sponsored by Northwest Federal Credit Union. Nominate a TOP Kid you know here, and view other winners here.

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Editor and reporter for WTOP.com. He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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