Encouraging Kids to Give Back

By: Margis Kapur

I started writing this blog about all the kind things I’ve done, but then I realized: So what! Lots of people do nice things.

Then I started to write about awards I received for doing nice things from my school and the Middle School Kindness Award from The Giving Tree. These are extremely nice things, but lots of people are recognized for doing nice things. And the real reason I’ve done service was not to win awards or anything like that, it was simply to help other people.

I want to focus on how important it is to teach kids to do nice things for other people because it can teach them to be kinder and do nice things for people their whole lives.

For the past 10 years I’ve been doing service projects. It all started back when I was 5 years old. I collected hats and gloves for my birthday instead of receiving presents. I donated the hats and gloves to Kenyan orphans because I had recently learned that Kenyan orphans do not have winter gear, and the Winter in Kenya can get very cold. In first grade, I noticed we had a lot of books and a program from Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia called Reach Out and Read, needed books to give kids at their wellness checks. So, I had a book drive in my school.

I did these projects, with lots of help from my parents, before I knew about The Giving Tree, who makes it easy for kids to do service, through their many projects. And, not everyone’s parents have the time or energy to help their kids with service projects. So, Giving Tree teaching kids about giving back is very important. It teaches thousands of kids about service and helping others.

And, now, almost 10 years later, I’m still looking for ways to give back. Like last year, My mom and I dropped off Thanksgiving food from my school at the Mattie-Dixon food pantry in Ambler. When we got there, the man working there informed us that no one ever donates coffee or other warm drinks to their food pantry. I was shocked when I learned this, because I know the difference when my mom has her coffee in the morning or in the winter when I have a hot chocolate or apple cider. I immediately got to work, I made a flyer and delivered it to all of my neighbors. We collected all the items and my mom and I delivered it to Mattie Dixon. It made me feel so good to know that on cold mornings, and maybe even Christmas morning, some people would be enjoying a warm beverage because of my work.

I believe we should all take care of each other. Giving Tree makes it very easy for kids to learn this type of kindness. So if we can encourage kids to do service when they are young, it can open their eyes to other opportunities to give back throughout their lives.