Inspiring Compassionate Children
At a recent advocate gathering, one of our advocates, Claire, from St Mary’s church, Scarborough, shared an inspiring story about how her daughter gave to Acts 435 as a child.
‘When my now-20-year-old daughter, Hannah, turned 11, she had £10 left over from her Birthday money. She has always been compassionate and there was something in her, as there is in many children, that just wanted to help others. I was a relatively new advocate for Acts 435 and I suggested that she could go through the list of requests and find something she wanted to give to.
I explained that if she gave her bit others would give as well to meet the total needed, explaining that every penny goes directly to the person. She loved the idea of this because she struggled with the thought of giving to the church or a similar organisation and not knowing where the money was going, she wanted to make a real difference. This is a very reasonable concern for a young person giving their last £10 (which is quite a lot when you’re 11!), so Acts 435 was the perfect place to give.
She scrolled through and found a request for parents of a premature baby who couldn’t afford the travel to the hospital and we donated to the request together. When she received the thank you note she was so touched by the difference that her giving made to this young family; the entire experience of choosing, giving and then receiving this message had a profound impact on her. The knowledge that what she had given had made a very specific difference to a real family really spurred her on and encouraged her in being someone who gives when they can.
When we recently spoke about Acts 435, Hannah reflected on this and said: “I feel like Acts 435 is so unique and specific in the way it allows you to pick exactly what you particularly care about and where you want your money to go. You feel like you made an actual direct impact on somebody’s life, which I think is really good for younger people because they don’t tend to be as good at grasping big picture things. Being able to give something small and make a tangible difference makes it easier for children to engage with the idea of giving money and how it actually helps someone else.”‘
Thank you to Claire and Hannah for sharing this story. We’d love to encourage parents, who are responding to their children’s compassion for others, or teaching children about giving, to look at some of these requests. If you and your children do give, we’d love to hear from you and thank your children for their generosity!
Christians Against Poverty recently released a children’s book, Grace and the Grumblies, to address the rising attention and conversation of poverty in the UK as a result of the Cost of Living Crisis. Conversations about poverty and need can be hard for children, and this book is a really useful resource to help explore this with children.