I heard about 9 year old Brendan Haas’ “A Solider for a Soldier” on K-Love this morning and immediately googled the project.
In an effort to help out a family of a fallen soldier, he came up with a plan to start with one of his toy army soldiers and to keep trading up (kind of like the red paper clip) until he acquired a Disney vacation. But he didn’t keep it for himself! What kid doesn’t want to go to Disney? On Memorial Day, he held a raffle for military families who had lost loved ones and delivered the vacation prize to the family of Lieutenant Timothy Steel, who was died at the young age of 25, in Afghanistan.
He used a toy soldier to honor and love a fallen soldier and his family.
Why did he do this? Because he thought “it would make them a lot happier”.
To give selflessly to another, you don’t need a lot of money. You don’t need to be an adult. You just need to have a thoughtful, loving heart. As a parent, it is important to me to teach my boys selfless giving – by example and by experience. I have just started to try to wrap my head around planning giving and serving activities with three boys under the age of five. And frankly, just the logistics alone can leave me with sleepless nights, as we are still working on concepts like “listening” and “not running out in front of cars”. But there is plenty I could be doing right now. This is a good reminder that giving activities need to be part of our “norm”. What a joy it would be to hear them say, “What can I do so make someone happier?”