If kids ran the world, it’d probably be a better place, and there’s no greater example of that than this seven-year-old boy who donated all the money from his piggy bank to help clean up a vandalized mosque.
Earlier this week, the Islamic Center of Pflugerville in Texas was attacked by a vandal who littered the ground with pages from a torn up Quran covered in feces and urine. A member discovered the vandalism when he showed up at the center for morning prayer, and though there was no physical damage to the building, clean up still cost around $150.
Pflugerville first grader Jack Swanson saw news of the vandalism and wanted to find a way to help. He cashed in the money from his piggy bank — $20 that had been collected in pennies over time — and with his mom, delivered the money to Islamic center board member Faisal Naeem. Naeem tells local news station KVUE the money might as well be $20 million because the gesture feels so meaningful:
“This gives me hope because this means that it’s not you know one versus the other because two years, 10 years, 50 years — I’ll be gone. But my kids and Jack, both Americans, born here are going to grow up together. Jack is just a little older than my son, Ibrahim. If we have more kind-hearted kids like them in the world, I have hope for our future.”
As for Jack, his mom, Laura, tells KVUE she knows the amount of money is small, but their family wanted to do whatever they could to help out because “all faith — especially peaceful faith” is important. She adds, “What happened in Paris is not what’s happening in Pflugerville. We should all be here supporting each other.”
Jack’s gesture is absolutely kind-hearted, and if his mom’s words are any indication, he learned that kindness at home. Right now the world is filled with a lot of uncertainty and a lot of hostility towards certain groups of people. It’s easy to forget that our kids are watching and absorbing all of this. They’re taking lessons from it, whether those lessons are intentional or not.
It’s more important than ever that the messages we’re sending our kids are ones of love, compassion, kindness, and respect. Regardless of race, religion, or political affiliation, we can still look out for our fellow man and be a pillar of good within our communities. Kudos to this mom for not only understanding that we’re all in this together, but also for passing that positive message on to her son.