How Some For-Purpose Kids in Florida Are Helping the Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort
When I started working on this blog post, I began writing from the perspective of someone who lived in Houston in 2005 and witnessed the devastation and long- term effects of those displaced by Hurricane Katrina. I was then going to compare that experience with what just happened in Texas and suggest ways that kids could get involved in supporting Hurricane Harvey Relief, from raising money to collecting donations to send to those in need.
But over the past week, we’ve all been inundated with articles and social media posts about how to provide support after Harvey…
…and as helpful and informative as some of them like this one are (and they are!), I decided to go in a bit of a different direction.
Today, I want to tell a story about Savannah, an awesome For-Purpose Kid in Florida, who came up with her own way to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
And I want to talk about Savannah’s journey of becoming a For-Purpose Kid, over the course of the past year.
So…full disclosure, Savannah’s Mom and I volunteered in India together in 2013.
She was there with 10 colleagues from around the world, as their company supported them to participate in an international volunteer experience as part of their focus on Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Involvement (how cool is that?!?). Now, you may be asking…
Why is that important?
It’s important because I didn’t have to convince her that teaching her daughter about giving and volunteering from a young age would have a tremendously positive impact on how she would act towards others and the world around her. The lessons we learned while volunteering abroad, literally changed the course of our lives, and are lessons we want to pass on to our kids. Savannah’s Mom was, therefore, an early advocate and supporter of For-Purpose Kids.
Now, getting back to our story. Savannah received her For-Purpose Kids Toolkit this past February, about 2 weeks after they were launched. The picture here shows Savannah opening her Toolkit with her friends and proudly displaying “The Giving Book”, a fun and interactive book which we use to introduce the idea of giving and volunteering to kids (yes, that was a bit of a shameless plug for our awesome Toolkits).
The first activity that she and her friends did to “give back”, with support from her Mom, involved creating Valentine’s Day cards to send to women in the military. Along with these cards, they included hair clips and other accessories as a way to say “thank you” for their service. Pretty cool, huh? GO SAVANNAH & FRIENDS!
Now, I know what you’re thinking here…OF COURSE she and her Mom are doing things like this…
…her Mom volunteered in India so she must be one of those “Peace Corps” types that has tons of time on her hands to “Save the World”. Nope, she works full-time at a very demanding job, is a Mom and a wife and can often be found tailgating on Saturdays in the Fall, proudly sporting her FSU Football Fan Gear (Go ‘Noles)!
But what’s important to note here is that while Savannah’s Mom may have recognized the importance of involving her daughter in these types of activities and made the time to teach her about the benefits of giving and volunteering (which isn’t always easy)…
…it was Savannah, herself, that started to experience the positive feelings of helping others, first hand.
Now…fast forward a few months to the end of the summer. Savannah and her Mom revisited “The Giving Book” to brainstorm ideas for another project that she and her friends could do to help others in the community. And while they were thinking about what to do…Hurricane Harvey SLAMMED into Texas…and provided them with a sense of urgency for their next project.
But here’s the cool part- instead of Savannah’s Mom taking the lead on the fundraising, Savannah and her friends did…at only 7 years old!
They were so sad watching the devastation from the storm, that they approached management at their local grocery store (shout out here for Publix…anyone who’s familiar with this company knows how awesome they are and how much support they offer to the community!) and asked to set up shop at the entrance to the store for 2 hours to raise money for Hurricane Harvey Relief.
Now you may be asking- what were they going to do to raise money?
Draw pictures for donations, of course…just like “The Original” For-Purpose Kid, Dane (click here to watch Dane’s video from 2015 that inspired us to begin For-Purpose Kids)!
They set a goal of $100 and got right to work with their art supplies & easels- as you can see in the picture below.
And can you guess how much money they raised in those 2 hours outside of a Publix in Parrish, Florida?
$529.88- OVER 5 TIMES THEIR GOAL!!!!
WOOHOO- WAY TO GO SAVANNAH & FRIENDS!!
I’d say you are all amazing For-Purpose Kids that have definitely made the world MORE awesome with your efforts!
Now, I’m sure you can understand and appreciate how excited I was to learn that For-Purpose Kids inspired these 4 kids to raise over $500 for Hurricane Harvey Relief. But what excited me MORE were the other things that these 4 girls have started to learn about- things like empathy, compassion and purpose- values that are central to our mission at For-Purpose Kids.
Merriam-Webster defines empathy as “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts and experience of another…” and compassion as “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” Savannah’s Mom shared how evident it was that Savannah and her friends were exhibiting both empathy and compassion, not only because they wanted to do this fundraiser, but in the way they talked to people about why they were doing what they were doing to help. I think we can all agree that teaching our kids a bit more about empathy and compassion from an early age will have a BIG impact on the future in which they grow up in.
And purpose, which Merriam-Webster defines as “something set up as an object or end to be attained”, is yet another idea that I believe is important to teach young kids. I think, a lot of times, society tells kids they’re too young to have purpose, to do something that matters- and one of the things we want to do at For-Purpose Kids is change that. In this experience, Savannah and her friends learned about what it feels to have purpose, to set an intention, to be empowered to make a difference in the lives of others.
So- if you want to inspire your kids to do awesome things like Savannah and her friends, while cultivating empathy, compassion and purpose- check out our website here and see what resources, ideas and products (like our Toolkits and Quarterly Subscription Boxes) we have to help you do that (you knew that was coming, didn’t you?).
One last thought before I sign off…some may think it ironic that these kids that worked so hard to provide help for those most recently affected by a devastating hurricane in Texas, are now preparing for what could be an equally devastating storm in Florida. But one thing is certain, if we continue to inspire our kids to be more empathetic and compassionate members of the community, someone will ALWAYS be there to help them in return.
For-Purpose Kids, Inspiring Kids to Be Kind Since 2016