"I remember calling my grandmother and smiling so much my cheeks hurt!"
"Before the ThinkGive Challenge I didn't really think about the little things in life that make a difference. If everyone does the little things in life, it makes a big difference."
"I remember the feeling of making people feel good, which made yourself feel good."
"Reading others' gifts for the day and realizing how such simple acts of kindness can change one person's perspective of others for the better."
"[The ThinkGive Challenge] really makes you open your eyes and appreciate what is given to you. I love it because it teaches you how to spread kindness, and it pushes you along. It also makes you feel good about yourself, which is one of the most important things. When you feel good about yourself, you end up giving more to others."
"Now, after the Challenge, I see how much people do for me."
"[The ThinkGive Challenge] really had a huge impact on me because once you gave the gift to the person they were so happy. So now it makes me much more aware of being kind to everything and everyone."
"The Challenge made me feel very proud of myself. I was proud because I have spent a lot of time giving to other people and making others happy."
"The Challenge made me realize that you should give all of the time. You shouldn't just give when you have an assignment to give, but you should give whenever you get the chance to."
"The Challenge made me feel good. It made me feel different about the world I live in."
"The ThinkGive Challenge really helped me become more of who I am. The gifts that it had me give really helped me to push myself out of my comfort zone."
"[The Challenge] made me think more about other people."
"I have learned that I have the power to impact other people's lives in a good way."
"I learned that I could really make a difference in the world."
"My favorite part of the Challenge was how I had a warm feeling inside after I gave a gift and how happy other people were when I gave to them."
"I remember giving respect to one of my teachers by thanking her for giving us all the chance to learn in our own ways. My teacher said it made her week ... which made me feel amazing, like I could fly."
"I have learned how my actions can result in someone having a good or bad day. I learned that my actions are powerful."
"[I have learned] that just one little thing can make someone smile."
"There are millions of kindnesses in the world and you just have to notice them."
"Because of the Challenge, I started thinking of other people, and gave kindness without anyone telling me to. I appreciated more what other people were giving me."
"The Challenge helped me think more about others and how to be kind to them."
"The Challenge made me a better and more caring person. I have learned that you can be thoughtful and kind by doing the smallest things. "
"The ThinkGive Challenge is a powerful way to help 5th graders build their 'kindness muscles'. Just as we teachers try to develop solid study habits in students, this program helps students build a habit of generosity. 5th graders are seeing that a simple and deliberate act of kindness can create ripples of good feelings among friends, in the classroom, and in their communities."
"It's been heartwarming for me to watch our sixth graders experience ThinkGive. The program helps reinforce the school's core values of empathy and inclusivity. It helps our girls see beyond themselves and realize that they have the power to create a supportive community, both within Nashoba Brooks School and beyond. "
"I have learned that giving makes everyone around you happy and the more giving spreads the happier the world will be. I learned how my small gift could make someone's day."
"How do we encourage the young people in our lives to be kind and compassionate toward one another? How can we help them recognize the impact their words and actions have on other people in their schools, their families, and their broader communities? ThinkGive has offered me, as an educator, a wonderful means for pursuing these goals. For the past three years I have run a ThinkGive Challenge with the Grade 6 students at Nashoba Brooks School in Concord, MA. Sixth grade is a time of great transition in our all-girls middle school, when our students start seeing themselves as budding teenagers. The social strains of this age can be intense, and ThinkGive prompts the girls to see the power of empathy and other practices that can make our school culture kinder and more inclusive."
"This is the second time I have run the ThinkGive Challenge in my classroom and both times I was pleasantly surprised with the impact it had on my students. Throughout the day and weeks after the Challenge, students still talk about the gifts they gave and how it made them feel happy. That's what I want for my students; for them to feel happy. When they felt happy, they were kinder and it made our day that much more special. I am very thankful to participate in the Challenge and see how small acts of kindness, brought together by a challenge, can truly impact the way kids think."
"I think the ThinkGive Challenge changed me because it made me think of other people around me and not just myself or the people I know, but everyone around me too. On Day 12 we had to give a surprise to someone and I loved it because my mom cried and smiled and my dad smiled and hugged me. I helped my community by cleaning the snow and I wrote little notes to my neighbors. In the morning, when I woke up to take my dog out, some of my neighbors smiled at me and I smiled back and I was happy the rest of the day. I learned to appreciate the little things."
"ThinkGive provides an authentic learning experience for children to fully understand the impact they have on one another. I don't think one can find a more comprehensive program than ThinkGive that promotes positive interactions in school. It's simply a rewarding experience that everyone should have."
"In the beginning of the Challenge I knew how to be kind to others. After the Challenge I actually did kind things [for] others."
"I feel that our whole class was affected by this. It changed many people's mindsets, which changed our class."
"The thing I will remember most about the ThinkGive Challenge is the feeling I had every time I completed one of the challenges. I felt more mature and like I could actually make a difference in the people's lives around me. "
"It made me recognize how I treat people, how they treat me, and how I treat myself."
"I have learned that being kind is one of the best things you can be as a person."
"ThinkGive directly promotes the first of McCall's three core values -- being learning-centered, respecting self and others, and valuing service to others. There is great energy around the program. It is so fun to witness the positive ways students are helping one another."
"The students definitely picked up on the ripple effect throughout the Challenge. It wasn’t clear to them what a ‘ripple effect’ meant prior to the Challenge, but we gave some concrete examples to start and slowly they began to see why we giving kindness creates a ripple effect—by passing on a feeling of happiness that then is passed on to others in various forms. "
"Last year during the few months I did ThinkGive, it was probably one of the greatest highlights of my 5th grade. It's a great program built on spreading kindness and care, and it's always fun to see yours peers do things that are absolutely amazing. On top of that, it taught me good habits and traits about how to be compassionate and respectful. In a way, it has shaped the way I am today, and even how I act. In fact, in my opinion I would rather be kind and caring with friends to support me, rather than getting that A on my report card. If you're like me, be introspective and realize that we need kindness in this world, and that we need one another. Be the person that everyone likes, that everyone can trust and feel open around. If we can all accomplish this, we will be one step closer to conquering our dreams."
"The ThinkGive Challenge complimented a yearlong study of literature which focused on essential questions of generosity, identity, accepting differences, tolerance, mindfulness, and living a life that is both meaningful and true. The gifts served as bridges not only to the the ideas we had explored in text, but as living connections to the relevance of our study in general."
"The ThinkGive Challenge made me realize that there are parts in every day that we go on autopilot, and if sometimes if we ease out of that phase, we can see what we missed in terms of perhaps helping or being nice to somebody. The biggest impact on me was when the whole grade recorded their gifts and I saw that we all tried to do something noteworthy that day that could have changed someone's life. I learned that if we all just be mindful of our surroundings, good things will come from it. My takeaway is that giving and receiving a bit of kindness can make somebody and yourself really happy, and just a moment of happiness, a reason to continue hoping, can come from a little bit of consideration for others."
"ThinkGive gave me a new perspective of giving. I thought that giving was presenting a gift to someone, or helping prevent bullying, something big like that, but I realized that a smile could make the difference in someone having an up or a down day. I now think of ways to give, without even thinking sometimes, and I think that that is a great thing, because it means that you can lighten up someone's day."
"The ThinkGive Challenge impacted me because it made me more aware of my actions. I learned that every action makes a difference. "
"The Challenge impacted me with the fact that now I believe that a small gift in your own eyes can be a big gift in someone else's eyes."
"I have learned just how much in life we kind of think self-centered about ourselves, and it was nice for a change to think outside what we needed and think of others. Even after the Challenge was over, I still find myself thinking of others, and giving compliments, or helping a person out, something I wouldn't have done as much before."
"It makes me want to do better things in the world."
"I think the Challenge helped me recognize that even small acts of kindness can make a change. Being kind isn’t about impressing people, it is about recognizing them."
"I learned that as a result of participating in the Challenge, I understand that simple acts of kindness can make a big difference."
"I was always loved to give, but coming together and doing ThinkGive really helped me open up my eyes even more than they already were. Even a super small act of kindness, one so small maybe you don't even remember it, could make a huge difference in someone's day."
"The Challenge made me think how my actions every day have an impact on other people."
"ThinkGive showed me what a great impact kindness can do on a community and the world. I learned the power of kindness in this Challenge, and I will never forget it. "
"At the beginning I honestly thought it was very embarrassing to give random gifts to people and I thought of myself as cowardly or not as good as as other people who aren't embarrassed like I was. But at the end, I was moved from everything that I had done. I thought that I had become a different person and that I did things that I wouldn't have done on my own. ThinkGive let me be my best self. The impact it had on me was great. I felt more free to do things that help others and I wasn't afraid. I learned that even when you don't think that you could do anything like this, you really can! I also learned that my community cares. Not only about us, as a team, but me as an individual. I found out that there were people who care about me."
"ThinkGive has taught me to be the best person I can be, through giving, spreading, and sharing kindness."
"ThinkGive has been an meaningful tool in my classroom, for building connections to important themes in the study of literature, as well as a consistent focal point to engage around discussions about the power of empathy, kindness, gratitude and individual bravery."
"I've learned that one of the biggest ways to be happy is giving, not taking."
"I learned that you can change anyone's world with a few words."
"ThinkGive is a great way to get students thinking about kindness and how to treat people. It initiates meaningful discussions in the classroom and leaves kids with memorable lessons that motivate them to want to make the world a better place."
"ThinkGive's impact on me lasts longer than just the time that I participate in it. Since I began ThinkGive, I started realizing that there's a lot more in the world than you realize, and every small thing has the power to change a life. I also learned that you can't change others, but what you can do is change yourself, and view people from a different perspective to see the good in yourself and the world. "
"I think ThinkGive has taught me to be more aware of people around me and that my presence matters. I learned from ThinkGive that the tiniest gift can make the biggest difference. "
"ThinkGive caused me to think, and change the way I think about giving and what that is. It made me think about what I take for granted, and what I need to be thankful for. I learned many different things during ThinkGive that will remind me how to give to others and myself. "
"ThinkGive really changes how I thought and saw other people. I learned that being kind to someone in the smallest way can change how they feel throughout the rest of the day. "
"ThinkGive allowed me to explore kindness. In the start, I never even thought of labels I might be giving people. Now I know [thx to ThinkGive] that people are more than what they look like."
"One of the big things I learned was to not judge people by their appearance but to dig a little deeper and find out what they are really like."
"I highly recommend the ThinkGive program as a means of explicitly teaching students skills that are often overlooked in the day to day curriculum in schools. At this vulnerable middle school age, lessons of kindness, gratitude, and empathy are so important. ThinkGive challenges students to extend outside of their comfort zone into their courage zone. It creates a culture of giving in the classroom that is powerful. It provides meaningful real world homework assignments that show students how they can make a small, but profound, positive impact on others. "
"Positive character traits such as generosity, kindness, and empathy can be nurtured and developed in childhood through teaching, modeling, and direct experience. ThinkGive allows all of this to happen in a classroom setting, strengthening the individual development of the child as well as supporting the social and emotional health of the whole classroom and school community."