One day, two Coronado moms were talking about what they could do to get their children more involved in the Coronado community. “The word ‘Compassion’ came up.” said Beth Aiello. “We agreed that it was really important to us for our boys to be able to show genuine compassion for others and to want to help others.” With the help of Rory Hutchinson at Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church and the support of others at their church, “Compassion Kids” was born.
“We had a lot of interest from like-minded families who wanted to get together, reach out to others, and plan events that could help show our Christian love for other people,” said Vicky Cassani, the second leader of the group. “Life gets so busy for all of us, and many of us talk about giving back to the community and teaching our kids compassion -- but in the day to day reality, we are just trying to survive our never-ending hectic schedules!”
The group’s current endeavor involves the Wounded Warriors, a project that seeks to empower wounded military veterans. “Since we both have boys and our husbands are in the military, we loved the thought of helping soldiers that have sacrificed everything for our freedom.” said Beth. On March 19th, the group will be taking 18 kids to Balboa Hospital to visit the veterans and perform a Zumba routine to the song “Wavin’ Flag.” The children wanted to bring something to the soldiers, so they paired up with Awesome Artist, a local pottery-painting studio, and created over 100 patriotic crafts that will be given to the soldiers.
Photo: Compassion Kids at Awesome Artist Studio, Credit: Justin Bingham
“We were happy to team up with the Compassion Kids to support Wounded Warriors. We made lots of unique pieces and it was a great experience for all of us.” says Justin Bingham of Awesome Artist.
The group is finding that the compassion shown by the kids is becoming contagious. With kids already asking ‘what are we going to do next?’, Beth and Vicky have starting approaching other organizations. "I have started talking with the San Diego Food Bank and am hoping to take kids, ages six and over, over one Saturday per month to help serve food out of their soup kitchen and make some food bags to pass out to those in need." said Aiello.
“Our group has participated in a holiday military letter writing project, pumpkin carving with seniors, and our ongoing birthday celebration event at the Coronado Retirement Home with the residents,” said Vicky Cassani. On the third Sunday of each month, Compassion Kids celebrate the birthdays of the residents who live there. The kids perform in a variety of ways, from dancing to sharing crafts to reading poetry. They also enjoy putting crowns and boas on the special birthday seniors. “It’s a win-win situation for all who attend,” says Cassani.
If anyone is interested in getting involved with Compassion Kids, please send an email to Vicky Cassani at email@example.com. Compassion Kids always needs parents to help lead activities!
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