Mummy Buzz


7 Year-Old Girl has Amazingly Ambitious Birthday Wish

A little kid with a big conscience

girl wants donations to charity for birthday

For a little kid, Addie Tinholt has a big social conscience. Where most girls her age would be only to happy to collect Shopkins or High School Musical memorabilia, the seven year-old from Vancouver has something different on her birthday wish list: to sponsor a refugee family from Syria.

Her "present" doesn't come cheap. Sponsorship would cost $30K, funds which Addie is campaigning hard to raise, starting with visits to Party leaders and candidates.

Having been homeschooled since the family moved from Winnipeg in April, Addie has watched videos of refugees escaping their country and is dismayed that "kids my age don't even know about Syria."

That is something Addie is aiming to change.

"I'm really sad because it just showed that it's millions of people running away from their houses, have no place to stay. All they have is the clothing on their back." Half of all refugees, she says, are "children who have lost everything."

Addie's heroine is not Taylor Swift, but Pakistani teen Malala Yousafzai, who won the Nobel Peace Prize last year for her activism in girls' education.

Clearly some parents aren't sure how - or even if - they should talk to their children about what's happening in Syria and other parts of the world. 

The evening news is often too graphic and alarmist for young children. And although we don't want to shelter and bubblewrap our kids, we do need to shield them from inappropriate viewing and keep current events age-appropriate.

This little girl is proof that age isn't a barrier to awareness. And that kids are never too young to develop empathy and a social conscience.

"She pushes me, and she'll call me on things," says Addie's mother. "If she thinks I'm not being compassionate enough, she's not afraid to speak up - even to her parents. I think that's an incredible trait that I hope will take her very far."

Addie, thank you for the inspiration. 

When I suggested to my very fortunate son that he may want to put some of his birthday money toward buying a gift for a less-fortunate kid, he looked genuinely perplexed. 

"But I'm not Santa," he said. 

Clearly, we have a long way to go.

 RELATED: How To Talk To Kids About Scary Or Violent News