I am so inspired by the kindness I see during the holiday season. At church, there is a tree covered with hats and mittens. At the YMCA, there is a nearly empty tree because people have taken all the name tags and are now out shopping for toys. At the grocery store, there is a bright red kettle that creates its own type of music with each clinking coin. At every turn, people are giving. And it’s not just the adults.

Twenty-five middle and high school students in the Legacy Children’s Foundation spent this past Wednesday delivering 200 bags to Madison Elementary students. The “big kids” filled the bags with T-shirts, socks, gloves, toys, and books. The Legacy Children’s Foundation is a nonprofit in Fargo that helps diverse teens get their high school diplomas. So there they were, students who are often lost in the system, who may not have much of a Christmas planned for themselves, taking the time to pay back the kindness and support of the community by showing another group of students that labels don’t matter. Here’s what a few had to say.

From Miranda Reyes, eighth grade, Ben Franklin Middle School

As I walked (skated, it was icy!) into the Madison Elementary School building filled with young children with huge smiles on their faces, I was happy I was there. My friends and I are in the Legacy Children’s Foundation and were there to deliver the bags we filled with awesome gifts from our community. Little students, their parents and friends walked through our tunnel with their bags to receive high-fives and smiles to start their days off right. Today I think the little kids realized that we really care about them. As I watched teachers and my friends cheer and pat these children on the back, I couldn’t stop smiling. For once I got to see and feel what it is like to give back. Random acts of kindness are really important to give every day, not just during Christmas. Now every time I see a little Madison student wearing his/her yellow Legacy bag, I’ll be reminded to be kind and to do something good for someone else.

From Deng Geu, sophomore, Fargo North

As I woke up this morning, I drove down on icy roads to Madison Elementary School to find some of my middle school and high school friends standing in a line giving out bags filled with things like socks, gloves and many more cool things for the 200 little elementary kids. This put a smile on my face to see those kids walking down to their lockers with their bags on their backs laughing as they passed by me.

Today showed me how our kindness can create a wonderful community. Kindness was also shown in the teachers who helped direct kids in line who were confused about where to go. This was a morning that I was proud to be a leader. The 25 young people in the Legacy Children’s Foundation are setting examples for the younger children so they can follow in the right direction. This was a morning that reminded me how important it is to pay forward kindness to our families, strangers or little kids with bed heads stumbling into school. This chance to “do good” and to see the kids laughing and enjoying their gifts made my day.

Congratulations Legacy Students! I hope you are incredibly proud of the example you are setting for others through kindness. Be sure to tell your teachers that it would be awfully kind of them to give you extra credit for writing to me at The Forum!