How old were you when you first felt empathy?

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There were many highlights for me last week but one has me compelled to share.

Backstory: About two months back my son (6), on his own doing, decided to open a juice stand in front of his Grandma and Grandpa’s home. His business model was solid; have someone else pay for the fruit and he provides the labor. What had me proud was not the fact that he crafted an entrepreneurial venture while others his age were playing Wii or XBox; it was the fact that he took it upon himself to use this juice stand to help promote and raise money for Project Hope Alliance.

Our family joined the Project Hope Alliance family in 2014, after I joined their Board of Directors. The Mission, accomplishments and highly passionate team spoke to me and my family. The rapidly growing organization embodies an entrepreneurial spirit rarely found in 40 year old non-profits.

Last week, Suzi Diaz from Project Hope Alliance visited with the kids of my son’s first grade class. She explained how she had the coolest job in the world and was fortunate enough to help kids move into new homes with their families. She explained to the room of 50 or so 6 year olds that in Orange County alone there are nearly 30,000 kids, who look and act just like them, who are without homes.

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What happened next was simply inspiring. Suzi asked the group a simple question, “has anyone ever done something for you that made you feel good?”.

Hands shot up as one kids after another shared stories about how other kids helped them up after they fell at school, or told them that they liked their haircut.

Suzi then asked if they have ever made someone ELSE feel good by saying nice things or helping someone do something they couldn’t do alone.

Hands shot up and one by one as the kids demonstrated how they have helped others. It was then I realized that this room of first graders not only understood but demonstrated already at this young age, empathy.

As Susi went on to explain how Project Hope Alliance helps kids and their families end the cycle of homelessness, I could see one kid after another (and teachers too) connect the dots between empathy and action; doing good by others makes me feel good too.

I am proud of my son for feeling and showing empathy- and taking action.

I am proud of Project Hope for helping our next generation awaken the spirit of empathy that lives within.

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To learn more about what moves the CEO of Project Hope, watch this amazing video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBh8Wv3o9FU

To learn more about Project Hope Alliance or to have Suzi and team come speak to your kids’ school, visit:

http://www.projecthopealliance.org/blog/2015/2/27/success-story?utm_content=buffer0d017&utm_medium=social&utm_source=plus.google.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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