Kids Who Care

Encourage Curiosity

Young children naturally look around their community and notice what's wrong with it. In fact, they may focus on inequities in the world that adults have become desensitized to. "Volunteering with children is an eye-opening experience," says Culbertson. "We have a homeless breakfast program at our church, and lots of parents bring their children. They ask the questions adults are too embarrassed to ask or don't even think about, such as 'Why did that person become homeless?'"

When 10-year-old Aubyn Burnside, of Hickory, North Carolina, found out that most foster children move frequently and have to carry their belongings in garbage bags, she started an organization called Suitcases for Kids. Within a year, the Burnside family had collected, cleaned, and distributed more than 17,000 suitcases. The program has spread to all 50 states, and hundreds of thousands of suitcases have been collected all together. "Social workers cheer when they see us coming," says her mother, Linda. "The program has become a very important part of our family."

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