POSTS WITH TAG: inspiring kids

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    In my house, we believe in unicorns and that Iron Man is friends with Tinker Bell. Santa is kind of a hero and that your teeth will fall out if you don't brush them every day. Basic kid stuff. We also believe in dragons. And why wouldn't we? Believing in the magic makes kids excited, fosters their creativity, and to be totally honest and self-serving it keeps us -- the parents -- young. That's why I am so enamored with this story of a family who encouraged their daughter to dream the impossible and see what happens.

    Sophie Lester is a 7-year-old from Queensland who wanted a pet dragon for Christmas. Her parents told her she would have to write to scientists in order to see if someone could get her one. So she did.

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    Like most little girls, 8-year-old Laney Brown loves Christmas carols. But unlike most little girls, Laney -- whose real name is Delaney -- is spending this holiday season at home waiting to die. She has acute myeloid leukemia, a blood cancer that's progressed so far that doctors say they just can't treat her. But sick as little Laney is, she wasn't too sick to make some last Christmas wishes. She wanted a sea of carolers to show up on her street and sing her favorite Christmas songs.

    This weekend, that happened. Carolers showed up. Thousands of carolers all looking to make one dying girl's last Christmas wish come true.

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    Don't you just love it when a child takes it upon himself to do something unselfish and kind without having to be prompted? Then just wait until you hear about Josh Zuchowski, a 9-year-old boy who won a swimming trophy and gave it to his biggest rival -- who happened to be in the hospital at the time of the swim meet.

    When Josh didn't see 10-year-old Reese Branzell's name entered on the competition sheet, he learned the boy had been suffering from a bacterial infection in his hip. And Josh felt so horrible about Reese not being able to swim that he decided if he won the "high point trophy" in the competition -- it would mean more to him if Reese was the one who had it.

    And when he did wind up with that trophy? Well ... I think the card he wrote to Reese along with it pretty much speaks for itself.

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    Kari Wagner-Peck’s 7-year-old son has something most other kids don’t -- an extra chromosome. He has Down syndrome, but until recently, he didn’t know it. Kari and her husband opted not to make it a big deal and make their son feel valued as a member of the family instead of for having “special needs.”

    But the time had come to get the words out in the open, as Kari worried that her little boy would be clueless and possibly hurt if others tried to talk to him about it or he overheard something without understanding it. She told her son about his Down syndrome in the sweetest way possible.

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    The other day while at the park after school, I witnessed my son being left out by a group of boys who are often playing together. These boys are in a different pre-k class than my son, so they knew each other well, but when my kid tried joining them, it was clear they weren't interested in adding one to their group. The look on my 4-year-old son's face was heartbreaking. This happens to a lot of kids of all ages and a York, Pennsylvania, second grader named Christian Bucks decided to do something about it so kids wouldn't feel so lonely or left out when it does happen.

    He proposed a "buddy bench" be installed at the playground his school uses, and his principal Matthew Miller at Roundtown Elementary School loved the idea. It's so nice to know that a second grader was that concerned about other kids' feelings that he took the initiative to do something about it in a big way.

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    There is almost nothing in this world quite as heartwarming as seeing the look on a child's face when one of their wishes comes true. And it's something every parent wants to do for their child. My heart is filled with happy after learning about 5-year-old Morgan Steward's wish to become a police officer. Morgan has spinal muscular atrophy, a rare disorder that makes him unable to walk and sometimes unable to breathe. Most children with SMA don't make it to their first birthday. Morgan has defied the odds.

    The adorable kid who looks so handsome in his custom police uniform had his wish come true in a huge way. The town of Covington, Georgia, and their police department went above and beyond the call of duty to bring so much joy to Morgan and his family. The video of him being sworn in will bring tears to your eyes.

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    If your 11-year-old daughter needed $4,800 braces and wanted to help you offset the costs by working for the money needed, wouldn't you be damn proud of her? Imagine if she went to her uncle's farm, cut twigs of mistletoe and wrapped them herself, and then went to a crowded market to try and sell them? Wouldn't you just think you had a young Donald Trump on your hands? (Hopefully minus his assholeism?) This is what kids SHOULD be doing. Learning how to work. They will need those skills someday. But apparently if you live in Portland, Oregon, the cops would rather see kids learning how to beg. For budding entrepreneur Madison Root was told she could NOT sell her wares for cash -- she could, however, BEG for money. Huh?!

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    While many other children are busy making their wish lists for Santa during this time of year, believe it or not -- there's one little girl who understands that giving is much better than receiving.

    Ten-year-old Jordan Buie is giving up the American Girl doll that was supposed to be her Christmas present, all for the sake of raising money to send care packages to our troops.

    She found the doll by accident in the closet one day, and instead of being upset that her Christmas surprise was ruined, Jordan came up with a plan. She knew this particular doll, Saige, was on back order, putting her in very high demand. And that's when she suggested donating the doll by holding a raffle where people can enter for $1 to win her.

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    Kids. Such know-it-alls, right? Always thinking they have all the answers. I mean, by the time they're 6 years old, it's like Mom doesn't know anything about anything, right? Well ... right. Sometimes, at least, kids really DO know more than we know, or are willing to accept. That's what Illinois mom Lisa Hunter discovered recently, anyway. When her family heard local tornado sirens blaring, her 6-year-old son Brevin insisted they drop everything and head downstairs to the basement, like his teacher told him: "Please, Mom. This is what they teach us in school. When you hear the siren, you need to go somewhere safe," he said. But when Lisa looked out the window, the skies looked pretty clear to her -- the sirens were probably just a drill, she said. No need to go down to the basement.

    But Brevin insisted -- and it's a good thing, too.

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    This is quite possibly my favorite girl-power video in the history of forever. The folks over at GoldieBlox have made it their mission to encourage and empower girls to be “thinkers, builders, and innovators,” and if this video doesn’t get your little princess excited to create something, then I can’t help you.

    They teamed up with Brett Doar, the genius behind OK Go’s Rube Goldberg machine, to turn a bunch of toys and a regular house into a “princess machine.” Then they rewrote the lyrics to Beastie Boys' "Girls" to send a message that girls are just as capable as boys when it comes to engineering.

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