Most kids wake up in the morning, eat a bowl of cereal, put on mismatched socks and then head to school.
But if you’re Madison Barnett, age six, your life is a little different. She woke up one morning and decided that there were kids out there who need help more than she does. That’s when she started a charitable effort to collect clothing for refugees in Syria, called The Love Exchange. We had her father call Maddy at school, and, well, prepare to cry.
At 6, you’re doing more to change the world than most kids. Why now?
“There are children everywhere that need help. They need help and I have things that I can give them. And my friends have things. And the kids in Syria have no shoes or food – I want to give them shoes and they need it now.”
Why not until, let’s say high school… or when you’re your dad’s age?
“When I am my dad’s age I will have children who will help! There are 200,000,000 children that need help and that’s going to take a long time. When I am in high school, more children will need help.”
What inspired you to do something today?
“We watched a video about the boys in Syria who don’t have food and I told my dad what I wanted to do and he said yes. He has helped me a lot. And we are having so much fun doing this. All of my friends and all of my school and all of my teachers are doing it. It feels good.”
What do people need?
“Love. Everyone needs love. They need clothes and toys and life jackets and hugs and food and shoes and pets and houses. Some children don’t have a mom and dad, they need moms and dads.”
Tell us what love means to you
“Making people happy. Giving them food and clothes and taking care of them and making them smile.”
It’s here where Maddy trails off to tell a personal story. “Daddy, do you remember that day I made your bed for you?” she says. “That was me loving you.”