9-year-old voice actor donates $1,000 to Backpack Buddies

Ashley Inge
Paxton Ables (far right) is pictured holding a donation check with Julie Howell, president of Backpack Buddies of Erath County, and standing next to his parents, Michael and Kelly Ables. Also pictured are other members of Backpack Buddies and pastor, Kory Koch of Oakdale United Methodist Church.

Paxton Ables hasn’t even hit double digits yet, but he has already put double the work in to help members of his community.

Paxton, 9, will be starting fourth grade at Hook Elementary and is a member of Oakdale United Methodist Church. He is also a voice actor and worked on a project this summer teaching English as a Second Language to Chinese students.

“It was two months' worth of perfect enunciations and difficult and often tedious reading and re-reading lines,” said Paxton’s dad, Michael. “By the time it was all said and done, his total recorded word count including pickups (corrections) and changes came in at just over 220,000 words. Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky has 211,591 words. A Game of Thrones by Martin has 298,000.”

With the money Paxton earned from his gig, he decided to donate $1,000 of his earnings to Backpack Buddies of Erath County.

“This endeavor started when he saw the assembled bags one day at Hook and asked what they were for,” Michael said. “He had heard about Backpack Buddies in church but had never seen it in action. Once he put it all together in his head that some of his peers were not food secure, he started trying to figure out a way to help. When he learned that he had been selected for a big voice over project, he made a list (actually, several lists) of things he was going to do with the money. While the things he wanted to get for himself and how much he would put into savings varied over time, helping his fellow students never left that list. Backpack Buddies was always the top entry.”

Paxton also purchased $200 worth of groceries to stock his church’s blessing box and partnered with H-E-B. The company decided to match Paxton’s donation of $200 in the form of gift cards to be distributed to families in need.

When the E-T asked Paxton why he decided to donate to Backpack Buddies, he said, “Because I wanted to help kids, so that they could have food and I just wanted to help Backpack Buddies...I wanted to put something out there that could help them.”

Michael said he is proud of his son because his voice acting job this summer was an “incredibly difficult and demanding gig.”

“There were times when things were especially difficult, when he sat in the studio with his eyes closed saying, ‘Think about the people you can help’ over and over like a mantra, just to give himself the will to power through,” he said. “There are very few 9-year-olds (and not many adults) who could have done it. We are incredibly proud of the work he has done and we are inspired by the generosity he has shown.”