Jan 7 2013

How children can benefit from doing random acts of kindness

CFCA awareness trip to Merida

Children in Mexico prepare to welcome sponsors during a CFCA awareness trip to Merida in 2012.

A National Public Radio story about how random acts of kindness can make kids more accepting and more popular caught our attention recently.

Schoolchildren in Vancouver, Canada, took part in an experiment designed to see how performing acts of kindness could influence empathy and altruism.

One of the more surprising results from the survey? The children who performed the acts of kindness not only were more likely to accept their classmates, they also experienced significantly bigger increases in peer acceptance.

Apparently, it’s always cool to be kind!

We’ve often heard from parents who tell us how CFCA sponsorship has helped their children reach out in kindness to others.

They can participate in writing letters to sponsored friends, learning about their friends’ countries, and traveling with their parents on CFCA awareness trips. Some have even started fundraising efforts for families in the sponsorship program.

One example is Liberty, who raised $1,500 for a CFCA chocolate-making mothers group in Guatemala. She was 7 years old at the time. (Her family sponsors several friends there and traveled on CFCA trips.)

“I feel good because I did something nice,” she said to us later.

Her compassion earned her deep gratitude from the mothers, who used the money to buy a chocolate grinding machine to help their business. They were able to significantly increase their chocolate sales as a result of Liberty’s contribution.

Another example is Matthew, who generously donated money from his past five birthdays to his family’s sponsored child, Magdalena. He came in person to the CFCA headquarters office in Kansas City in 2010 to make sure his donation arrived safely!

Did the results from this survey surprise you, based on your own experience with children? Why or why not?

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