My 6 Year Old’s Journey from #BirthdayGifts to #BirthdayGives

Vishal Kumar
Jun 13, 2017 · 8 min read

I have been struck by the how amazing these new generation kids are, especially my 6 year old. A 30min conversation made me realize how I used to think when I was a kid and how these young generation kids think. So, I thought about writing about that experience and sharing it with others.

The Experience:

The Conversation

Here is how the conversation went. As my daughter Pragna is turning 6:

Papa: Hey honey, how would you wish to celebrate your birthday?

Pragna: With my friends and others(after a long pause).

Papa: Others?

Pragna: Yes! Others! People who are poor and need help?

Papa: Interesting! How would you like to help and how many you would like to help?(wondering what she would say and if she has it all figured out :)

Pragna: How about 99?

Papa: Why 99? and is 99 the number of people you want to help or it’s the number of groups who help other people? (Wonder if she understood the question)

Pragna: 99!

Papa: I repeated my question, Why 99? and is 99 the number of people you want to help or it’s the number of groups who help other people? (Wonder if she understood the question now)

Pragna: Ohh.. People who help other people..

Papa: Ohh so you want to help 99 charities?

Pragna: What are charities?

Papa: People who helps other people do it through their charities.

Pragna: Good idea, yes charities, 99 charities

Papa: But 99 is too much and daddy/mommy might not be able to afford donation to 99 charities. How about you pick a small number of really really good ones?

Pragna: How about 6 charities(After a long pause)?

Papa: Why 6?(I know the answer, just double checking)

Pragna: It’s fun papa, I am 6, so let’s pick 6, when I’ll be 7, let’s pick 7.

Papa: That’s brilliant, I like it(at this point mommy jumped and gave a nod of apporval).

Pragna: Yes, let’s do 6.

Papa: Which type of 6 charities you want to donate to?

Pragna: What do you mean by “type” papa?

Papa: Which all causes? Like helping needy, helping animals find home etc.

Pragna: That is awesome, let’s do helping needy, helping animals, helping our temple, helping people come to America?

Papa: Helping people come to America?

Pragna: Yes, papa, we are not nice to people who come here..

Papa: Who told you that?

Pragna: Remember the time we were watching the news?

Papa: Ohh.. ya.. sure, that’s a great idea, I know exactly who to contact.. Who else, we have 2 more to go?

Pragna: Helping needy kids, and helping birds

Papa: Helping birds? Why do you think they need help?

Pragna: I have seen in TV..

Papa: Sure, that’s another great idea. What do you want to donate? Would you be willing to give your piggy bank collection to donate?

Pragna: Let me think papa… take it!

Mamma: That is a great idea, how about me and papa add some more money to help?

Pragna: You are the best mummy in the whole wide world.

Papa: That is great, I think we should give this great project a name.

Pragna: That is a great idea! We could do that papa!

After some discussion, the idea of #BrithdayGives, donating on your birthday was born -

Pragna: I will tell Mrs. McDonalds(her teacher) to spread the idea about #BirthdayGives!

A group hug.

That brought some tears to mamma’s eyes and I was stunned with what had happened in last 22min.

We discussed later about what has caused this little girl to think about giving at such an early stage? Is it the movie “Pay it Forward” that we watched or is it something she discussed with her friends.. But certainly a great initiative..

Me and mommy discussed with Pragna, “You know what Pragna? You could ask your friends to support your favorite charities as well? May be starting next year?”. Pragna: “Yes mommy, we could call them to “donate a birthday”.

I never recall having such a conversation with my mommy. It was a bliss to see this 6 years old with an interest in giving.

The Planning & Visit:

Based on Pragna’s interests, we picked 6 charities! We discussed the charities with Pragna and got her “Thumbs up”.

Now, dad & mom split-up and made some calls to charities explaining them the situation.. It was mind bending to see what welcome we got from these amazing charities! It was a pure humbling experience to see how quickly these charities came together to meet with Pragna.

In the interim, Pragna decided to create a drawing for each charity and give them the picture on their visit.

So, now you must be wondering which all charities we all picked and what was the experience?

Here’s the list, with a small word about them and a small gesture these charities have shown to bless this young soul’s passion:

The Charities:

1. Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter []

Description: The Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter (NSKS) is dedicated to providing shelter and food to those in need. The overall objective of the agency is to advocate, create, and operate programs and services that promote dignity and self-sufficiency for those we serve. To ensure that basic needs are addressed, the NSKS is committed to joining with others in a community-wide ethic of caring.

Pragna’s Visit: She learnt that Nashua Soup Kitchen Feeds 1000 families every week and how important is Soup Kitchen to local communities and she decided to support them in future as well.

Here’s full video about what awesome work Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter folks are doing:

2. The Humane Society for Greater Nashua []

Description: “We provide hope, health and homes to over 3,000 animals every year. This would not be possible without kind people like you. Learn how far your donated dollar goes and thank you for caring.”

Pragna Learnt: Humane society treats 3000 animals and helps local community find the love, care via a pet. Pragna learned that Humane Society is an important part of community as it takes care of pets and provides them with love, care and family. Pragna has decided to adopt a pet from Humane Society soon.

Here’s full video about what awesome work The Humane Society for Greater Nashua is doing:

3. ACLU []

Description: “We stand on principle. The ACLU stands up for the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the rule of law — regardless of the repercussions.We’ve been defending freedom for over nine decades. Founded in 1920, the ACLU has been at the center of nearly every major civil liberties battle of the last 90 years, and time after time, our work has played a defining role in protecting and advancing individual rights and the rule of law.We protect the personal freedoms you cherish. The ACLU protects every person.”

Pragna Learnt: ACLU team’s visit was super fun. Pragna learnt that it’s good to protest for things that are right. It is always a great idea to stand for right. Pragna has agreed to participate in a protest campaign before she turns 7.

Here’s full video of what awesome work ACLU team is doing:

4. Make-A-Wish Foundation []

Description:Tens of thousands of volunteers, donors and supporters advance the Make-A-Wish® vision to grant the wish of every child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition. In the United States and its territories, on average, a wish is granted every 34 minutes. We believe a wish experience can be a game-changer. This one belief guides us and inspires us to grant wishes that change the lives of the kids we serve.

Pragna Learnt: Pragna was blown away by the work Make-A-Wish does in bringing a smile to those who deserve it the most. Pragna has agreed to support their awesome charity and volunteer in any capacity possible.

Here’s full video about what awesome work Make-A-Wish society is doing:

5. NH Audubon []

Description: New Hampshire Audubon, a nonprofit statewide membership organization, is dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and habitat throughout the state. Independent of the National Audubon Society, NHA has offered programs in wildlife conservation, land protection, environmental policy, and environmental education since 1914.

Pragna Learnt: How awesome Audubon team is and how they work in coordinated manner to protect birds habitat and provide research and legal help in creating a nurturing environment for the birds who could not stand on their own.

6. BAPS []

Description: The BAPS Swaminarayan Sanstha is a spiritual, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to improving society through individual growth by fostering the Hindu ideals of faith, unity, and selfless service.

Pragna Learnt: Pragna has been to the temple and always love bowing in front of god and asking for peace and happiness within her family and beyond. She will keep supporting local temples.

The Conclusion:

Here’s the summary video that we captured! It is in no ways describe what amazing work these charities are doing, but it certainly would explain what a 6 year old got away with.. A memorable birthday filled with, what she says, #BirthdayGivings

Thank You Readers!

As Pragna is off to her 7th circle around the sun, she wants to help and support others to help. This is her first realization that together we could move mountains, change the world and make it better for everyone. One tiny support at a time. It would be awesome if you could share, like this blog, video or at best support the above mentioned charities, or support charities that you are close to. Also, Pragna has pledged to join #BirthdayGivings, spree of giving to number of charities equal to her age[Unless she could manage]. As a father, I am confident that where there is a will, there is way. So, looking forward to seeing the way and sharing the experience with everyone. Till then, wish her luck and your support/admiration so she is fueled up on helping others.

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