Sometimes you meet inspiring people – and aspiring movements – amidst the most routine activities. For us at SixDegrees.org, this meant discovering an incredible 9-year-old named Paige who’s rallying kids to join the “Caring Club” and commit to helping others “who are sad, angry or lonely.” We have talked about starting SixDegrees.org clubs to make it easier for kids and families to initiative pay-it-forward campaigns and other acts of service, but it seems like this young girl beat us to the punch!
Paige was one of dozens of schoolchildren at Douglas MacArthur Elementary who attended a SixDegrees.org discussion about charity and giving. Many kids then volunteered to make ornaments for the SixDegrees.org “giving tree” as part of a contest being held in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, VA. One of the kids would be able to pick a charity to receive the $500 prize if our tree received the most votes. We also explained that the ornaments they made would brighten the streets and help others, regardless if we were picked to win.
When looking at the ornaments submitted, we noticed one unique piece shaped like a house. When we asked Ms. Lakeyda Robinson, the teacher who organized the afterschool event, she told us the girl’s name was Paige and shared that Paige explained that “she was thinking about homeless people and wanted the ornament to represent comforting homes.” She would pick the Carpenter’s Shelter to receive the grant if she had the choice. Ms. Robinson went on to add that Paige was an incredible child who rallied kids to help a kindergartener experiencing significant issues transitioning to elementary school, which later evolved into the “Caring Club.”
It doesn’t take long to notice something special about Paige and when we asked the school teacher about it, she said that Paige had also started the “Caring Club” for no other reason than wanting to help out.
Here is what her Mom had to say:
From the moment she could talk people constantly said, “what a caring and empathetic daughter you have.” She has a unique sense for a person’s well-being that goes well beyond her age. She sees things as though she is an adult but with a child’s innocence. As an example, every compliment she receives she returns a compliment so that the giver of the compliment does not feel left out of that good feeling. That’s just how she operates.
Paige started the Caring Club because she wants to make sure kids aren’t left out and to help those who are in need. The group doesn’t stem from a bad experience on her part but rather her seeing others who are in need of assistance or those who could use some encouragement. She wanted to create something that kids could be proud of in helping others. She has witnessed kids ganging up, poking fun at classmates, being left out of a game, arguing, or just sitting alone at the playground. Her intent is for the group members to recognize these situations and for members to assist in resolving, including or mediating the situation. Here is the mission statement she created:
The Caring Club is a group who helps kids who are sad, angry or lonely. We are here to help.
Member goals are to try to identify 2 situations each month where you can help people in times of need.
We think Paige deserves a little support for her kindness efforts, so regardless of whether we win the Christmas tree contest, we’re giving her a $500 grant to benefit club activities and/or to regift to Carpenter’s Shelter or another charity of her choice. Since we also try to get celebrity shout outs for everyday do-gooders like this, we asked who her favorite musician or other celebrity is. Her response was Kate DiCamillo, a famous children’s author. We don’t know Kate, but if someone out there does, let’s see if we can get her to give Paige a pat on the back.
We were curious about other efforts to introduce volunteerism and philanthropy to elementary school-aged children and came across the following resources we thought we might share. Please let us know if there are others to add to this list, we’d love to encourage more “Caring Clubs” and similar activities at this young age.