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Awakening Compassion in Preschoolers Hearts

November 13, 2022
Tzu Chi preschoolers line up to put pocket money into a Love Milk Bottle, thus contributing to Tzu Chi USA’s Grace & Gratitude Concert fundraiser. Photo/Xunmu Huang

Written by Yixuan Tsai
Translated by Mark Wan
Edited by Ida Eva Zielinska

Tzu Chi USA held a two-day Grace & Gratitude Concert on November 20 and 21, 2021, as a charity fundraiser event under the slogan of “Concerted Effort to Spread Love & Benevolence.” 

Tzu Chi USA volunteers had busied themselves for over two months to prepare for the occasion. In the Tzu Chi spirit of teamwork, others also joined hands to contribute to the concert, including preschoolers from Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool in Walnut, California. 

The Love Milk Bottle event, which was organized by Tzu Chi Education Foundation, began when kindergarteners used video aids to illustrate the meaning and goal of the donation. By applying humanistic education to explain why there’s a need to help others, the older children inspired the preschoolers to give even at their tender young age, thus cultivating a pure sense of love and benevolence in their hearts.

Kindergarteners explain to preschoolers the reason why love needs to be shared. Photo/Xumu Huang
Kindergarteners use electric fans to show preschoolers a hurricane’s deadly effect. Photo/Xumu Huang

“In the class today, we talked about less fortunate people in other parts of the world, the corollary of which meant that we need to apply the funds we raise to help places like Taiwan, Africa, and India. Our kids and parents were all willing to lend a helping hand,” ​​English teacher Veronica Sandoval explained.

The preschoolers responded with heart, donating their pocket change. Their contributions would go towards purchasing COVID-19 vaccine doses for Taiwan – once the home of many of their parents – and disaster relief for those affected by the Haiti earthquake, flooding after Hurricane Ida in the Eastern USA, and wildfires on the West Coast due to which people lost their homes.

Preschoolers add coins to the Love Milk Bottle to help those in need. Photos/Xumu Huang

The children’s comments about donating to help those in need were precious:

Every day, I deposit some coins because I want to help others.

I want to build big and pretty houses for them, without which they won’t be able to sleep, nor have places to eat in.

I may give them a hug or donate new toys like cars or a set of choo-choo train toys. And I also want to read books for them.

I wish for my second aunt and grandmother, both living in Taiwan, to be healthy and properly vaccinated.

After depositing their own coins into the Love Milk Bottle, the preschoolers also added all the change they had saved up in their class bamboo bank. They could truly experience the joy of giving, pooling all their love together to gain more power to help those most in need in the world at that moment.

The preschoolers add all the coins they saved up in their class bamboo bank to the Love Milk Bottle. Photo/Xumu Huang

After school on that day, the preschoolers also went so far as to directly ask for donations from family members who arrived to pick them up. Holding “love boards” and donation containers, they appealed to relatives for their generosity and compassion of giving. Parents who support Tzu Chi’s way of cultivating compassion responded enthusiastically to the kids’ requests, knowing full well how meaningful their children’s inspiration and mission was.

The preschoolers continue fundraising after classes end that day, appealing to parents and family members to support the Tzu Chi endeavor. Photos/Xumu Huang

I hope to have children imbued with the correct idea of helping others so that they’ll learn how to put it to practice, to care for people; this is what I had in mind by sending my kid here.

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