“Gimme! Gimme!” or Doing Good

We don’t always hear stories about children’s charitable impulses. More often, we hear stories about children behaving badly or parents allowing children to behave badly. Yet so many children are born with an innate sense of compassion for others.

So, what can we do to foster that natural compassion?

Giving back won’t just give children a powerful boost of self-esteem,  it might even counter the overdeveloped “gimme” impulse.  Who doesn’t want the hottest toy, the designer outfit or the trendiest treat?  But, when you help a child help others, they are creating a better environment not just for themselves but for so many others.

Some parents in North East Texas, must be doing something right.  In the last few weeks, many children are sharing their good fortune with CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Health System in Tyler, Texas.  These are children who are finding important and tangible ways to give back.


This summer, Robert Ricks from Hawkins, Texas donated approximately $300 worth of toys to the pediatric unit of CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances.  The 10-year-old knows how to count, but NOW he also knows what counts the most.

5th Grader Collects Toys for Patients

The local media covered the generous donations of toys courtesy of Robert’s summer time toy drive which he organized and executed all by himself.  His family couldn’t be prouder and the Associates at the hospital couldn’t be more grateful.


Almost 20 years ago, a new toy store appeared on the scene called Build-A-Bear Workshop.  The toy retailer appeals to youngsters who can pick out a special stuffed animal, assemble it, and then customize it.  A lot can go into the process to create a soft, stuffed and special toy.

Yet, after building their bears the children from the K-5 Summer Class at the Pine Tree Church of Christ in Longview were all smiles as they handed over their special bears to the Associates on the pediatric floor at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Hospital-Tyler.


TMF Donation1
The children from the K-5 Summer Class at the Pine Tree Church of Christ in Longview with Whitney Jarvis, Children’s Minister and Registered Nurses: Laura Jones (back), Joseph Fiorentino and Cindy Garcia (front)

In order to raise money for this project, the children worked over the summer to put on a talent show.  Based on ticket sales and an additional monetary gift they were able to take on this philanthropic mission of creating and purchasing their bear cubs.

The next step was donating their bears to kids their age, kids who need a little cheering up, which took them to their final and perhaps most rewarding part of their summer project.   They now know what it actually feels like to help others.  And learn the lesson, that even at their age, they have the power to make a positive difference in someone else’s life.

TMF Donation