From the time our daughter, Sophia, was very little (she is now 10) we have instilled in her empathy, kindness, diversity and respect for others. To help people and give to others – whether it’s tangible things or simply her time, or her ears to listen or her heart to empathize. And to do this because it not only helps others but it feels good! To be a leader in this way, so that other kids may follow her example.
In this busy and material and competitive society we live in today, it is far too easy to become self-absorbed or let our children become this way and forget that they can be the change and the future we hope to see.
The school she attends has a motto “non sibi solum” which in Latin translates to “not for oneself alone”. When we heard about PfaP (last year while in St Lucia) we decided to participate whenever we traveled in the future. Sophia was so excited to participate in this program! She decided she wanted to pack supplies for a local school where we were traveling but she did not want “mom and dad” to go out and buy these supplies for her. She bought some with her own money she had been saving and she reached out to family and friends and explained the program to them, why she wanted to participate and asked if they would like to as well. She even sent a video to her aunt’s 4th grade classroom explaining to the students what she was doing and why so she could further spread the word. Sophia expressed to us that she also wanted to visit the school that would be receiving the supplies and personally deliver them so as to be able to interact with the students. While this was not the only charitable and kind gesture she has done, it was one in which she was able to have a deeper connection/experience with and to involve and inform others. As Maya Angelou stated “when you learn, teach and when you get, give”. We hope that by reading Sophia’s story other kids will be inspired to do the same.