Charity Starts at an Early Age

Learn the lessons and hear the heartwarming story of charity and kindness by an 8-year-old boy

In today’s ‘gimme, gimme’ world filled with commercialism, marketing, and ‘looking out for #1,’ it’s heartwarming and encouraging when you hear about acts of charity and kindness — especially when the good Samaritan is an 8-year-old.

Such is the case with Quinn Sargent. Learn how this thoughtful boy put others first, how he was rewarded, and how you can encourage this type of behavior in your child.

And the winner is…..!

When Quinn’s mom typed his essay for submission in The Nickelodeon Universe Ultimate Birthday Party contest, she didn’t have high expectations. After all, literally thousands of kids, ages 6-18, entered the contest valued at $12,000 for a once-in-a-lifetime birthday party for 99 friends and family at the Mall of America in Minneapolis.

The contest celebrated the one-year anniversary of Nickelodeon Universe at the 7-acre amusement park with 24 rides open only for family and friends. “We want kids to have a fabulous time while helping us celebrate Nickelodeon Universe’s first birthday – a special milestone,” said Jennifer Lauerman, marketing director of Nickelodeon Universe. “Birthdays are a day where the focus is on you – a day to have fun and enjoy yourself.”

‘A day where the focus is on you’ may be what the contest designers had in mind, but not Quinn. According to Mall of America staffers, out of thousands of entries, Quinn’s entry stood out because he didn’t want to win the party so much for himself, but for everyone in his class – even the children he didn’t know.

Quinn says, the hardest part about having a birthday party every year is not being able to invite everyone. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings and have some kids feel left out. Quinn’s essay says it best:

‘My name is Quinn Sargent and I am eight years old. I live in St. Michael, Minnesota.

I would like to win the birthday party because I would like to invite all the kids in all the third grade classes at my school to come to my birthday party.

Whenever I have a birthday party the hardest part is picking who can come. I want to invite everyone but my mom always tells me that we can’t invite everyone and I always feel bad for the kids that can’t come.

If I had this birthday party, I could invite all the kids in my grade, even the ones I don’t know. I asked my mom how many people she thinks are in all the third grade classes at my school and she said probably one hundred. So we could have everyone at one big party. It would be the best party ever.

We’d also have to invite my little sister but that’s okay. I have money in my Batman bank and I can buy her a ticket.

My mama typed this but I told her what to say. Thank you!’

Quinn’s generosity doesn’t end there. When you invite 99 kids to a party, you’re going to receive 99 gifts. Not only was Quinn overheard telling an invited guest, “Gifts are appreciated, but aren’t necessary. You coming to the party is gift enough,” he also donated more than half of the gifts to Toys for Tots and the local Giving Tree that assists local families in need.

Charity starts at an early age

So just how did Quinn get these ideas of charity and kindness? By example. Charity starts at an early age and charity starts at home — not by preaching generosity and kindness but by teaching and examples set by the parents.

Andrea Sargent, Quinn’s mom, says, ‘We have always stressed the value of sharing with both of our children. We’ve spent many hours explaining to them that there are many, many children — children they know and attend school with — who are far less fortunate than they are.’

As you can see, Quinn is being raised by charitable parents and has seen acts of kindness his entire life. Andrea Sargent sums up this exciting event by saying, ‘Our family has learned a great lesson from my son… that in today’s society of gimme gimme, take the best, the most, must have latest and greatest mentality, the quiet generosity of a third grader pays off far greater than the pleasure from the newest gadget ever will.’

A lesson in charity we can all learn and take to heart this holiday season.