Every day in the media we read about kids and teens who are bullies, who do bad things, who are violent, etc.
Yet, it’s not very often that we read about great kids who are doing wonderful things!
The other day I received an email about second-grader Christian Bucks, of York, PA. Christian felt badly about some of his classmates feeling lonely during recess so he went to his principal at Roundtown Elementary School with an idea of installing a “buddy bench” on the school playground.
His principal Matthew Miller loved the idea and let Christian assist in choosing the style and color of the bench. Christian told the media that he hopes the bench will help "grow our dream circle of friends."
Then there is 13-year-old Maria Keller whose goal is to liberate children the world over with a book campaign to advocate world literacy.
At the age of 8, Maria began collecting books for kids. She founded her own nonprofit, Read Indeed. Last month she surpassed her goal of sending over a million books to children in various parts of the globe.
Her running total is 1,032,067 books with a value around $4,000,000. On March 5th she will be honored for the "Outstanding National or Global Service by a Young American" at the National Award Ceremony in NYC.
The students of teacher Karen Swartz Larsson of Stockholm, Sweden are also kid do-gooders!
A year ago Larsson was visiting her ill mother at a Maryland hospital and found an envelope marked “For You.”
Upon opening the envelope there was a note that read: "I just want you to know that you are loved and that you are needed," the note read. "Things might be difficult now, but hang in there. Signed, a friend."
She put the card back in the envelope and left it for someone else to find.
Now almost a year later, back in Sweden, she mentioned the story to a student named Ellen while they waited for the bus. The two came up with an idea to apply the same concept for Valentine's Day.
Larsson's two classes (comprised of fourth to seventh-graders made valentines for strangers with messages like "You are perfect the way you are!" and “You are loved.” On Valentine’s Day they left the cards in random public places such as buses, cafes, places of worship and in a hospital – all around Stockholm.
Florence, OR kid do-gooder Kaylee Graham, 14, an eighth-grader at Siuslaw Middle School, initiated an annual citywide day of service in her town motivating more than 3,000 residents to work on community improvement projects, raise money for charity, donate food, and take part in other volunteer activities over the past three years. Kaylee grew up volunteering with her family, but when she was 10, she wanted to do something on her own. So she held a garage sale and raised almost $2,000 to stuff 150 backpacks with blankets, toys and other items for children in foster care. She told her mother she wanted to host a weeklong volunteer camp at her house. Her mother said that was too much, but if it was just one day, Kaylee could invite as many people as she wanted. So Kaylee invited her entire community. She presented her idea to the city council, which eventually proclaimed the third Saturday in July as the “Power of Florence Day.” To date, Power of Florence Day has sparked nearly 40 service projects, raised more than $25,000 for community causes, and collected over 7,500 pounds of food for a food bank and the Humane Society.
These are just a few stories of kid do-gooders! We salute them and salute all of the other kid do-gooders we weren’t able to write about.
It feels good to write a story about these role models and hope that more and more of our youths follow suit.
You can encourage your children to be do-gooders by setting a good example of volunteering and helping others!
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Ross Ellis is also the Examiner for:
National Parenting Examiner
NY Real Estate