I found an inspiring article (below) about a 7 year old’s idea to gather new pajamas for kids who don’t have proper sleepwear.
This is the type of story that puts a lump in your throat, especially the last sentence about how the little girl believed in herself to make a difference. What an important point to make – that helping someone starts with feeling secure, and believing in the ability you have in your own life to help and make a difference.
As kids, we grew up understanding the importance of giving within the family unit… how we could contribute to the household, or what we could give to our family members at Christmastime that was handmade, instead of a store bought item every year. The concept of giving outside of the family, however, wasn’t really introduced for some reason; I don’t even recall it coming up in school. To give the benefit of the doubt, maybe in each case it was due to resources just not being available to make it happen.
With the Li’l Legends page, we’re looking to change that! The idea for this section came as a result of our years working with children and knowing the importance of the sharing the ‘gift of giving’ early in life.
Considering how busy and stressful things get for all of us later on in life, we wanted to find a way to keep this topic front and center – a way to help children understand the importance of of 'giving a hand up' so that by adulthood, caring about others is just as much a part of their lives as caring for themselves.
As easy as it is to forget those less fortunate, a lack of giving is certainly not a reflection of not caring – there just may be circumstances that don’t allow it. But if we know deep down that giving is something important that we’d like to make a part of our lives, we’ll do what have to, to take the first step.
And perhaps to make the starting-something-new jitters a little less daunting, we can do two things: i) involve kids as much as possible and be “fuelled” by their enthusiasm, and ii) be inspired by knowing that we’re about to embark on an activity actually known to be biologically healthy for us. As seen in a University of California, Berkeley article, studies found that when people give to charities, it activates regions of the brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect. It goes on to say that scientists believe that altruistic behavior releases endorphins in the brain, producing the positive feeling known as the “helper’s high.”
Li’l Legends is a special community page that aims to share inspiring stories about kids’ initiatives to help others, as well as build a list of ideas on ways to help, to make it easy for kids and families to choose their favourite ‘helping path’, to make it easier to make a difference in people’s or pets’ lives.
If we can build upon the energy and enthusiasm kids naturally possess, and their belief that they can do absolutely everything, the good feelings they’ll receive from these activities will stay with them, becoming an ongoing inspiration to create their own family and community traditions in the years to come.
In addition to the earlier 100 Kids Calgary story, here’s another one to add to the “I want to be a part of that” clan! …………………… Kids Helping Kids & Making a Difference By Genevieve Piturro, Pajama Program pajamaprogram.org, The Huffington Post We’re bundling up to go to work. Kids are shivering at their bus stops in the early morning hours. Chilly days and cold nights have arrived and while we may get a warm day or two, we can’t fool ourselves - winter is coming.
“Danger Season” started on October 1st. This is the time of year when the temperatures drop and the chill at night makes it the most desperate time for the children we serve. This is the time when children are cold, afraid and lonely. Many of them have been abused or abandoned and taken away from their home and school.
Yes, it’s getting colder with each night’s passing but letters about Kids helping Kids will warm your heart every time...
My name is Bonnie. I live in Texas with my husband and our 7-year old daughter. I have been encouraging my daughter to think about her letter to Santa this year. After a long wait she came back to me with a smile on her face.
“I got it, Mom. All done.” Excited and curious as to what she picked (“Will it be hard to find? On sale? Have to be fed?) I looked down and read:
Dear Santa, This year I want 10 pairs of warm PJs for kids who don’t have any warm PJs.
My heart soared. I was thrilled! Excited! Elated! Proud. And then she took the paper from my hands and said,
“That won’t be enough, Mom.”
She crossed out the 10, wrote a 100 and then handed it back to me. 100 pairs of pajamas.
Whoa. How’s Santa going to pull off that one? I asked her.
Undaunted, my daughter looked at me and said, “Fire up the lemonade stand, Mom! We’ve got some work to do.”
My daughter wrapped a box, made some signs, we put letters out to parents of her friends in school and waited. As of yesterday, we have at least 59 pairs of pajamas and still coming in. She has planned and prepared for a hot cocoa and treats sale this weekend in our neighborhood to raise funds to buy more pajamas. She isn’t finished yet!
With so many children homeless and losing hope, it is extraordinary to learn about children like this 7yr old who wrote to Santa.
She believes in Santa to help, but she believes in herself to start making the difference.
To our LUH community, we welcome your ideas on this subject! The first step is sharing thoughts on the subject followed by asking children for theirs. As a community, perhaps one day fulfilling the hopes and dreams of people working toward creating a better life for themselves could be something we work toward successfully.
This page is dedicated to all of the little citizens of this community!
Li'l Legends is meant to be written for parents, by parents.
It's meant to keep our beliefs strong... that we CAN place confidence in the future the world promises.
With a listening ear and an open mind, we love highlighting children's thoughts and insights, big or small, letting them know that fun and positive things happen when they choose to talk about their feelings, and share their ideas!