Published on April 18, 2018

Maxx Merlo

It’s never too early to understand the impact of philanthropy.

Maxx Merlo of Valencia, age 7, proved that when he donated all his savings to Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital’s Kim and Steven Ullman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Accompanied by his parents John and Donna Merlo, the young Valencia resident recently presented his donation to Diana Vose, president of the hospital’s Foundation. Henry Mayo held a special significance for the family since Maxx and his sister, Danielle, were both born there.

When he started saving coins from special occasions and his allowance, Maxx knew that he wanted his donation to benefit children in hospitals. Once he heard that the new NICU would soon be open, he was excited to help little babies and decided that he would give his savings to Henry Mayo for our tiniest patients.

“We were looking for something that would make a local impact and the NICU does that,” John said. “I knew about the positive impact Henry Mayo’s Foundation had in the community through local articles. And I knew they must be doing something right.”

John and Donna Merlo encourage their children to give back. When Maxx reached his goal of $110, after a year of saving, John matched it. John passed along to Maxx what he learned from his own father—giving back.

“He has a giving heart and wanted his gift to make an impact,” John said. “With the NICU, he understands where his money is going.”