Two Iowa parents donated school supplies in honor of their late son, who would have been joining kindergarten this year.
Aaron Rinard and Sarah Rinard’s son, Caleb, was almost 7 months old when he died from a birth injury in 2012, and the parents have done something to remember him every year.
“Every year on his birthday and the anniversary of his passing, we go out to eat and leave a big tip or pay for someone’s meal,” Sarah Rinard told InsideEdition.com.
This year, Caleb would have started kindergarten, and the Rinards wanted to something extra special to honor him.
They got a hold of the school supply list for the kindergarten class in Ankeny and bought pencils, notebooks and tissue boxes, among other items, for the school.
The parents loaded the supplies into a red wagon and on the first day of school, they walked the route they would have if Caleb was with them.
“We wanted to do something positive instead of making it a sad day to commemorate him,” Aaron Rinard said. “We were thinking about the things we would be doing with him. We wanted to make that walk. We were going to make that walk regardless."
The parents said the walk brought about mixed emotions, but they were happy other kids would be able to benefit from their actions.
"It was sad knowing we should be holding Caleb's hand and wondering what kind of day he would have had or who his teacher would have been," Rinard said. "We were grateful to be a part of the excitement that comes with the first day of school."
The couple’s son, 3-year-old Andrew, joined them on their walk.
"Everybody was pretty thankful and pleased with the donation," Aaron Rinard said.