Youngest. Donor. Ever. Teaching Kids Kindness

Modeling kindness to others may be a great way to teach kids empathy and how to do good deeds. But there’s modeling and modeling. Five year-old Anikan just got the lesson of his young life on going out of your way to do a kindness. Here’s the deal:

Anikan fell in love with the Kars4Kids jingle. He’d sing it all the time, his family would sing it with him. Kids are curious, and Anikan is no exception. He started asking questions:

What does donate mean?

Do they give those cars to the kids?

Anikan’s family understood that each of these questions and the boy’s interest in the subject in general, represented teachable moments. His family explained that Kars4Kids helps take used and unwanted cars from people, using the proceeds to help children. Anikan loved the way that sounded. He asked his mom if they could donate a car to Kars4Kids.

His mom said no.

But Anikan’s Aunt Lisa hated to see this impulse for kindness go to waste. She thought, “What if Anikan could raise the money to purchase a used car to donate to Kars4Kids? Now, that would be some lesson in charity and kindness.”

Anikan’s aunt decided she’d help the boy create a crowdfunding page. Lisa set the fundraising goal at $350. But she decided that if Anikan managed to raise that sum, she’d match it, penny for penny. Surely $700 would buy a decent used car, good enough to donate to Kars4Kids?

Kindness: Anikan Exceeded His Goal!

Naturally, the people at Kars4Kids got wind of this wonderful exercise in teaching a small child about kindness and we wanted to get involved. If you look at the crowdfunding page, you can see that Kars4Kids employees began chipping in, five dollars here, ten dollars there, and soon enough, Anikan had exceeded his goal.

We felt it important that he succeed, that he feel the feeling you get when you do something good for others, expecting nothing in return. So we helped. We also created a special version of the jingle, just for him, as you can hear here:

In the end, everything we do at Kars4Kids is about the kids. And we hope Anikan will, having gotten this amazing, young start at doing good, continue to do good all the days of his life, may they be long and productive.

If we can learn anything from this true-life tale of giving it’s that we must always be on the lookout for teachable moments where we can show by example, how to be kind to others. Sometimes we need to be creative to make the lesson stick. Sometimes we need to go the extra mile or spend some hard-earned money to get there.

We’re pretty sure Anikan will always remember his impulse to donate a car, how Aunt Lisa responded (we love that she spelled “kar” with a “K” on the crowdfunding page) and how the Kars4Kids people responded in turn. It seems that one good deed begets another.

Anikan? We’re proud of you. We’re expecting great things from you. We think you’re the luckiest little guy in the world to have a role model like your Aunt Lisa in your life.

She’s a keeper and so are you!

What are some of the ways you’ve demonstrated acts of kindness for your children?

Does Anikan’s story inspire you to do something similar with your child? Any ideas come to mind?

Found what you just read useful? Why not consider sending a donation to our Kars4Kids youth and educational programs. Or help us just by sharing!

Found what you just read useful? Why not consider sending a donation to our Kars4Kids youth and educational programs. Or help us just by sharing!

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About Varda Epstein

Varda Meyers Epstein serves as editor in chief of Kars4Kids Parenting. A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Varda is the mother of 12 children and is also a grandmother of 12. Her work has been published in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, The Learning Site, The eLearning Site, and Internet4Classrooms.