The best present money can buy . . . .

Hello again from the team at the OM@home blog, a blog about children and young people, written for children and young people . . . .

For young people just like you, about young people who inspire us all at OM HQ.

Young people like Mary Krieger . . . .

Mary, from Lawrence, Kansas, is rather keen on kindness . . . .

So much so that, in March, she decided that she’d rather see people being nice to each other than receive gifts for her birthday.

It’s a great idea, for sure, but it’s more than that . . . .

You see, Mary put her money where her mouth is. Literally.

‘We don’t really have much money, but even I can look around and see that I have too much stuff that I don’t really need,’ she explains. ‘I wanted to try to give back and give to someone else.’

In order to do just that, Mary created a project that she calls Kindness Counts, the idea being that teachers at her school reward students for acts of kindness with $10 gift certificates . . . .

These, Mary bought using the money that would have been spent on her birthday presents.

She even decided to forego her cake.

‘I was hoping that if I did this, kids would start doing nicer things,’ says a student whose program has proved a huge success. ‘When I did get to see the change, it was probably the best feeling I ever had. That was one of the things I wanted for my birthday, to see the difference and see the kids with smiles on their faces. That put a smile on mine.’

It has put a smile on ours too, here at OM HQ, where we love to hear about young people making a difference to the lives of those around them.

Mary, whose sacrifices have prompted countless donations that have enabled the project to keep running long after her birthday, is hoping that Kindness Counts will continue after she has graduated. It’d be quite a legacy to leave.

This tale has touched us here in our studio and we hope it might make our readers think . . . .

Think about the things we have and the things others don’t. Think about putting smiles on faces. Think about the important things in life. Think about giving.

Here’s to kindness, and here’s to Mary . . . .

We are all connected.

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