Kids get a lesson in compassion in Qualicum Beach

SOS Summer Fun Program delivers flowers, positive notes to community

The Society of Organized Services’ Kids Summer Fun program recently held a day of facilitating random acts of kindness throughout Qualicum Beach.

The SOS child, youth and family programs banded together to create a scavenger hunt for children in the summer program. Children broke off into small groups, sang songs together and handed out flowers and positive notes to members of the community.

SOS staff said that the exercise in kindness was an eye-opener for the children.

“We thought this would be a beneficial activity for the kids to help them understand the impact compassion can have on people in the community,” said SOS children & family coordinator in Qualicum Beach, Jessica Henderson. She added that the activity also helped the kids bond with each other.

Kolby Myden was one of the participants in the day of kindness. Kolby gave his flower to his brother Keenan Bevan, who was working at Qualicum Commons as a Camp Leader. He said that Bevan has always been nice to him and his birthday was the following day. The flower made his brother happy, he said, and encouraged him to continue with more acts of kindness.

“I felt really embarrassed at first but I felt really happy afterwards,” said Kolby. “I was like, I don’t want to do this…and then I thought, actually, I want to do this again. It just gives you a good feeling inside.”

Kolby then gave a positive note to his brother’s girlfriend, who was having a bad day, and she told him later that she had a better day after receiving his note. He gave another note to a Quality Foods employee.

“She said it made her day and she was very happy,” said Kolby.

Kolby said he didn’t realize that giving away something so small could change someone’s day and make them feel better inside.

Jacob Morton had a similar experience. He gave a note to a homeless man.

“He seemed really happy that he got a positive note,” said Jacob.

He said the man had a sign that said, ‘anything helps,’ so the kids thought he could use some kindness, and it turned out they were right.

“That’s a great example of how our kids know that a gesture of love can be all a person needs, it doesn’t always have to be something extravagant,” said Henderson.

One group of kids said a resident rejected their positive note, and they were told by the resident to give the note to someone else. This was all part of the learning experience, said Henderson.

“I think that they learned that some people are in a place to receive their love, and others are not. But regardless of what kind of state people are in, it is so important to extend compassion to all humans as you never know how it can shift someone’s day and make them feel loved,” said Henderson.

Program participant Sasha Frizzel said she loves taking part in the Kids Summer Fun program, where she can talk to adults, have fun with kids and express her feelings.

“I came here when I was having a tough time in school and when I came here I had people to talk to,” said Sasha.

During the school year, a program for the same age group is offered, called Kids Movement: Play, Express & Grow. Program participant Eva Simpson said activities in Kids Summer Fun always bring her and her friends up.

“If you’re having a bad day you can come here and you feel way better, you can talk to people and you can forget about your day. It’s an amazing program,” said Eva.

The Kids Summer Fun program is free, however pre-registration is required. SOS also offers a number of free summer drop-in programs in both Parksville and Qualicum Beach until Aug. 30. Fall programs resume Sept. 10.

For more information on programs, services or volunteer opportunities, visit the SOS website at www.sosd69.com or call 250-248-2093.

– NEWS Staff, submitted

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