Monday, September 9, 2013

What My 3 Year Old Taught Me About Serving Others

I've almost always been involved in some sort of community service through my life.  It's something that I really love & kind of find it addicting.  As I'm sure most of you know, I love to do service project with my kids.  I think it's very important to involve them while they are young.  Unintentionally I thought it would be me doing the teaching, but recently, I was surprised when my toddler taught me to be more giving.  

I told Paige about how sometimes kids get scared when policemen and firemen are called to help them, they can give the kids a toy to make them feel better if they have one.  We decided to donate some of her gently used stuffed animals.  She really seemed to understand & she was excited to help.

I dumped out our overflowing tub of stuffed animals.  I quickly put my favorites, her favorites & the "not-so-gently-used" animals back in the bin, leaving the rest for Paige to pick from.  This left a small pile, but the tub was still overflowing.  Paige decided to give away all but one of the toys I offered to her, but then she went back to the bin & started reaching for the ones I didn't offer to give away to the kids to add to the 'give away box'.  I quickly said, no, that those weren't ones we could give away, but as soon as the words left my mouth, I realized how selfish I was being.

They weren't even my toys, why did it matter to me?


I realized it was lunch time & we would re-visit the toy situation later.  A few days later we went back down to the toy room to gather the stuffed animals.  I decided I was being selfish & if Paige wanted to help more kids, then I needed to let her.  I then, once again dumped out the toy bin & offered her all of the toys that were of acceptable condition.  She then added almost all of those toys into our donation bags.  She even added some of her favorite stuffed animals that she loved to play with.


Once we got to the fire station, she was holding a dog that she originally said she wanted to donate.  We handed the bags to the fireman & I asked her if she still wanted to give the dog to the fireman for the kids.  She said yes, but the fireman told her she could keep it since it was so cute, but Paige insisted that she wanted to give it away.  I don't know if I can ever forget that moment & hearing her sweet Apraxic voice saying, "I want to give it away".

It touched me. 

I was and am still so impressed with her giving attitude.  She could have easily kept just one of the stuffed animals & still helped so many kids.  But that wasn't good enough for her, she wanted to give all that she could to help others.  It may have been a simple act on her part, but it made a lasting impression on me.

From now on I will do better to give my all to others.  I'm not perfect, and probably never will be, but I will be better.  Less selfish.  We live in such a self-focused world (which isn't necessarily all bad), that I found it refreshing to see a toddler, someone at a stage often labeled as 'the selfish stage', give so much of what she loved.  If someone at this age can do it, I can too.  


My sweet, three year old daughter, helped 15 kids without thinking twice.  I'm so proud of her.  Who says one person can't make a difference?

For more community service project ideas, click here.

This post was linked up at BeYOUtiful, Love That MaxB-Inspired Mama, The Modest Mom Blog, Deep Roots at Home, Raising Homemakers, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Raising Arrows and Christian Mommy Blogger.

Children are amazing, service is in their blood!  Do you have a sweet service story of one of your kids?  I'd really love to hear about it... comment below!


Join our monthly service challenge... 

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*This post may contain affiliate links.  What that means is that I will get a small percentage of what you purchase through the link.  This will in no way charge you more money... in fact, I love to save money so I usually post links that are the best deals possible.  I am only an affiliate for companies I personally use and recommend, so I know you will be in good hands.  All money earned through my affiliate links or donations will go to my daughter's speech therapy. 

82 comments:

  1. AWWW! what a sweet little girl! =) Your 3 year old has inspired me.

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    1. Thank you, that's sweet! She's pretty amazing, but I think I'm supposed to think that... right? :)

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  2. Oh, how sweet! I hope she doesn't mourn the absence of any of her favorites!

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    1. It's been about 2 weeks & she hasn't complained once! She's even played with her other stuffed animals & doesn't seem to mind one bit. I'm so impressed with her attitude!

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  3. that is so incredibly sweet- and great name- mine is Paige too! :)

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  4. The sweet, open heart of children amazes me. What a wonderful story. She learned a great deal from that and so did you :) Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yeah, there's something amazing about children, huh!? Now we just need to figure out how to bottle it up & get it back as adults!

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  5. Good job mamma, you are raising that little one right......and your humble attitude of being willing to learn something so incredibly important from your little girl is very admirable. Thanks for sharing.
    I did not even know you could do this!
    ~Heather @ The Welcoming House Blog

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    1. Thank you so much, that is a very sweet compliment!

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  6. This made me tear up. I love her! And you are the best mom Misha!

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    1. You make me smile from ear to ear, girl! Thank you, so much! She ADORES you!

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  7. Sometimes we learn more from our children than they do from us...what a sweetheart! :)

    ~Lorelai
    Life With Lorelai

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    1. I know, I need to write down every time she teaches me, so I can remember them forever! Kids are amazing :) Thanks for commenting!

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  8. That's really sweet. You have one very kind little girl.

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  9. I think that is an excellent idea to do with all of those toys that every relative seems to give to the children. I wonder if my children will be as open to giving their toys away for other children as your daughter was.

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    1. Thank you! If you do it, let me know! I love to hear about other people's experiences!

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  10. What a beautiful story! Children have the ability to teach us so much. I feel as though I have learned more about myself since becoming a mom. You both had a wonderful experience...and though you learned a lot from her, you were intentional in what you wanted to teach her: to be a servant. Thanks for sharing the story and the idea.

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment & compliment! I'd love to hear other people's stories, so if you have any from your children, send them my way! I'm always open to guest posts... hint hint! :)

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    2. Thank you. Sounds great! I would live that! :)

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    3. Shoot me an email sometime, I looked at your blog & saw that you used to be a special ed teacher. If you are interested in doing a guest post for my Let's Talk Tuesday series, you're welcome to (or a service guest post would work too)! If you're interested send me an email at michelle@trustmeimamom.com

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  11. I get to see a lot of kid serving moments - I have eight children. I think the ones that have touched me the most recently are watching my little boys play with Mason. Mason is my 7th child and he was born with Spina bifida. He's paralyzed from the waist down and so he has a wheelchair. His not much bigger than him brothers play basketball indoor with him and willingly chase down his ball and bring it back to him every time, no matter how long he wants to play. Since he can't reach the ball from his wheelchair this is huge for him.

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    1. I LOVE that story, it's so tender! Are you a blogger? I'm always open to guest posts... hint, hint! Thank you SO much for sharing!!

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  12. I love the idea of involving the kids in helping others. I have a list of things to do this year and one of them is to do something for someone else. I haven't figured out what it should be yet. maybe it will be something the kids and I can do together. thanks for sharing!

    Stopping by from the blogelina commentathon!

    ~ Dara

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    1. Thanks for stopping by! If you do end up doing it, I would really love to hear how it goes!

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  13. How very sweet! I love seeing the innocence of children's hearts!I hope your girl is always kind and generous.

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    1. Thanks! I hope so, too! Crossing my fingers for that!

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  14. What a sweet and inspiring story! We were in a car accident recently and my daughter was given a small red bear in the ER that gave her so much comfort (we were thankfully not hurt - just getting checked out!).

    Between that experience and this story, I'm inspired to talk to my daughter about donating some of her stuffed animals, too. Great idea!

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    1. I'm so glad everything was okay, but I have never heard from anyone on the receiving end... thank you for sharing! I love that! If you do end up donating some, I'd love to hear about how it goes with your daughter!

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  15. What an amazingly sweet story! This brought tears to my eyes! You must be a fabulous mom for raising such a giving child!

    -Rebecca @ Love at First Book

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    1. You are too sweet... I wouldn't say I'm a fabulous mom, but I sure am trying! Thank you for the comment & compliment!

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  16. So sweet to hear. We've been the receiving end of an ambulance stuffed animal and it was soon my son's favorite animal. It's amazing how selfless kids can be and how we adults could learn a lot from them.

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    1. I love that, thank you so much for sharing! It's nice to hear from people on the receiving end!

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  17. What a beautiful story and such a sweet little girl! I wish we would see more of these stories at least sprinkled on th enews at night!

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    1. Thank you! Good point... we really could use a few more positive stories on the news!

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  18. I'm always amazed at how much our children can teach us about being better people. Of course, I think you should give yourself a little more credit since someone had to plant those seeds of a giving attitude in her heart.

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    1. Thank you... that is very sweet of you to say!

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  19. Children are just so amazing that you never know what they will do.

    I remember when we would go visit my great grandmother who was in the nursing home after a stroke. She couldn't talk very well and my son was born right after that. 5 generations

    I think my son was about 4 and we went to see her for Christmas and he gave her a gift and gave her the sweetest kiss on the cheek. He really didn't have much to do with her in the past because since he didn't understand what a stroke can do to someone, I think he might have been a little scared of her.

    I got a picture of that and the look on his great, great grandmothers face. A priceless moment.

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    1. What a sweet story! I love it, thank you for sharing! I'm so happy you got a picture of that moment, that is so special!

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  20. You must be so proud of your precious daughter! This kind of stories give me hope for the future of humanity and inspire me to be better as well. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, I so appreciate it!

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  21. AWWW this makes my heart melt. Your daughter is precious. I only HOPE I'm doing the right thing with my son and that he is able to do the same in the future. Blessings to you.
    -Stacey
    Gluedtomycrafts.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, so much! I'm sure you're doing an awesome job mothering your son! Don't be too hard on yourself & listen to your mommy gut. You'll never fail with that!
      (I love your blog... I followed you on Twitter!)

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  22. You made me tear up reading this. I too do "service projects" with my kids whenever I get the chance, and they really do make a difference.

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    1. You are so sweet, thank you! I would love to hear about some of your service projects you do with your kids!

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  23. That's really sweet! Good for her for putting others first like that!

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    1. Thank you for your sweet comment, I so appreciate it!

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  24. I can't wait to do service projects with my kids once we have a few :)

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    1. I'm excited for you to do them, too! It's pretty fun! :)

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  25. It makes you feel good to realize your children realize the value in helping others. Great story!

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    1. For sure, I can't wait to learn more from her! Thank you!

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  26. what a really terrific lesson for all.

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    1. Thank you so much, that is sweet of you to say!

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  27. great lessons you are teaching your kids!

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    1. Thank you... and great lessons they are teaching me! :) I can't wait for them to teach me more.

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  28. great things you're teaching your kids!

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  29. So sweet! I am struggling with my kids right now to encourage them to donate and help others.

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    1. Best of luck! If you find something that works, I would love to hear about it! I'll keep posting ideas, and hopefully one will strike a cord with them!

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  30. You had me as a reader from the word apraxia. My 10 year old is apraxic and it's amazing to connect with others who share in the struggle to help a child find their voice. I'll be back after the commentathon to read the post you linked about your experience and maybe even connect up with Let's Talk Tuesday.

    Angi from Tim and Angi

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  31. awww! Aren't kids the best! They really have sweet hearts. I love that we are able to encourage our kids to give and serve and shape life long passions in these areas. Stopping by from the blog-a-thon. Emily

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  32. So adorable. The hearts of children can teach us so many things! Thanks for listening and sharing this story!

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  33. This is such a great lesson we all just learned from your bright little girl. Thanks for sharing!

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  34. This is such a great lesson we all just learned from your bright little girl. Thanks for sharing!

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  35. This tickled my heart this morning - thanks for sharing!!

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  36. Some of the best lessons I have learned in life I have learned from my children. This story is a prime example of motherhood done right! Good job!

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  37. I am glad you listened to your daughter. They can teach us so much.

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  38. Children are so pure and inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

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  39. That is a touching story. I, too, have found myself seeming selfish when donating toys. I get myself emotionally attached to them and it's hard for me to let go of ones my daughter has wanted to donate. I have to remind myself that other children and their parents haven't had the opportunity to get emotionally attached to toys when they have nothing. I then realize how lucky I am and that her toys are just "things". We've donated hundreds of toys during her life and I love that she gets so enthusiastic about it.

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  40. How sweet. What a kind girl. Our stuffed animals are always so yucky and drooled on. But it is a great idea to do.

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  41. How sweet. What a kindhearted girl. Our stuffed animals are drooled on and sad looking, otherwise I'd give them away. :)

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  42. What a sweet story! I feel like I would be the same way with some of the toys, not sure if I wanted to part with them just because of my own attachment. Now after reading this, I would be much more inclined to donate anything! Your daughter has such a kind heart!

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  43. Kudos to you for teaching such compassion and giving to your daughter. Wonderful life skills! Stopping from blogelina

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  44. Sniff! That was so sweet. I know I would have been like you saying "No not those sweetie." Makes me think twice. thank you for sharing.

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  45. We have a day planned to clean out the toy box. I hope my three year old will be as generous. What a sweet daughter you have.

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  46. What a sweet precious girl and mommy!

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  47. That is such a touching story. Our kids are truly wiser than we are. I would have done the same thing as you did. How silly we can be, huh? Your daughter is a fine example of selflessness and charity.

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  48. This made me tear up. What a sweetheart! This story truly touched me. I can only imagine how blessed those children feel when they get to snuggle with one of her toys.

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  49. What a beautiful post! I am so glad you shared this as part of the KBN Best Of Blog Hop. This is an amazing post. I've learned a lot about giving from my little ones too. I spoke with my 3 year-old about a family who had a house fire and he selected some of his favorite books and toys to give to them, including some brand new books that I was not ready to part with!

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  50. Aw Paige is an absolute inspiration with her act of kindness. I hope I can bring my little girl up with the kindness your little girl has xx

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  51. Aw Paige is an absolute inspiration to others! I hope I can bring my little girl up with the same kindness and generosity your little one has xx

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I actually really love it when you comment! ;)

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