As parents, one of our most challenging endeavors is to teach our children about generosity. “Stop being so selfish” has come out of every parent’s mouth at one time or another. We try to teach them what it means to have empathy and compassion for others but wonder if it will ever “click.” Meet Melina, a young girl whose compassion for others is truly beyond her years.
Melina is just 10 years old, a 5th grader at Coastal Academy. One Sunday at church, her class received a guest speaker, Kim. Kim had just returned from an Outside the Bowl Vision Trip to Haiti and came to share some pictures and firsthand stories from her time there. Melina’s class had been donating their tithes to Outside the Bowl but many of the students, including Melina, knew little about their donation’s impact. Kim had a few short minutes to convey the need, desperation and hopelessness she saw in Haiti. But a few minutes was all it took for Melina’s heart to break. “When I found out that some kids in Haiti are so hungry, they eat cookies made of mud, I thought “I need to do something, these people really need help.” “Outside the Bowl makes sure the kids have food to eat, so I wanted to help Outside the Bowl.”
TAKING ACTION TO HELP
Determined, Melina went straight home to enlist the help of her mom who has a successful store on eBay. “I have so many toys, I don’t need them all,” she told her mom. "Let’s sell them and give the money to Outside the Bowl.” So Melina went through her toys, prized possessions for so many kids, and selflessly listed them on eBay with her mom’s help.
Her quest to help the kids of Haiti didn’t stop at home. She started talking to teachers, classmates and fellow GirlScouts about the kids in Haiti and what Outside the Bowl is doing about it. Her passion for Outside the Bowl spread like wildfire and she’s now created an army of supporters who are committed to helping her raise funds for Outside the Bowl in various ways.
“At first I didn’t know how much I could really help, I’m only 10. But now I have confidence that I can make a difference and do anything I put my mind to.” When asked how giving and helping others makes her feel, she puts both hands over her heart and with a huge smile stretching ear to ear says “it makes me so happy, like my heart wants to explode with joy!” Displaying wisdom beyond her years, Melina has discovered what so many have yet to learn, true joy is found in helping others.
Melina’s advice to other kids looking to make a difference? “Don’t always ask your parents to buy you stuff you don’t need. Do you really need all your toys? You should give them to people or sell them and give that money to Outside the Bowl. Don’t let your parents waste their money.” Now that’s music to any parent’s ear.
Melina’s fundraising goal for 2015 is $1,000. She has raised $830 so far. If you’d like to support Melina in her efforts and help her reach her goal, visit her webpage to donate online. Donations will be used to continue feeding the hungry…body and soul.
To start your own Campaign Against Hunger, click here.