Adam Armstrong, 35, grew up poor in a mostly government-subsidized apartment complex near Harrisonburg, Virginia. At 18, he served three months in jail for marijuana possession, and before his release, he decided to turn his life around, so he moved to Baltimore and eventually entered the mortgaging business. As he became more and more affluent, he felt compelled to give back to those still living in poverty.
This month, he drove a moving truck packed with $12,000 worth of gifts (1,327 toys) to his former neighborhood and gave them away to all the children. Sara Lewis-Weeks is property manager of the complex. "It wasn't like stuffed animals," she said. "He was giving away bikes, remote-controlled cars, and real Barbie Dolls, not Dollar Store Barbies. He didn't miss anybody. His heart was in this. Kids were expecting a few stuffed animals, but never anticipated 'you got a bike, and you got a bike, and you got a bike.' It was like an 'Oprah" for little kids."