By Randy McNeely
How many 5-year-old children do you know who start their own projects to bless others? Oh sure, I know plenty of 5-year olds who might draw a picture or make a craft or a variety of other simple things to give as a present to Grandma or Mommy, but how many do you know that drive a project that ends up blessing dozens? Not many, if any, right?
Well, Taylynn Krakilo, who is now 6, certainly broke the mold last year when it came to surprising people with what she could do to give kindness, even as a 5-year old.
Last year Tade and Tegan Krakilo saved their pocket change and when they had a big bunch, they took it to the bank to get cash. They then split the cash among their children as their allowance.
“To teach them to be good stewards of their money,” Tegan said, “we had them save some of it and keep some to spend. We also wanted them to learn gratitude and empathy for other people so we gave them money to give away and provided some options from which they could choose to receive their donation.”
Taylynn received $5 to give away and chose to give it to the Muscatine Center for Strategic Action (MCSA) which provides housing, basic health care, educational and support services for those in need in Muscatine County.
Taylynn decided on her own initiative, however, that she wanted to give more than $5.
“I wanted to give them socks to keep their feet warm,” Taylynn said.
So with help from her parents, Taylynn created and posted a Facebook video asking family and friends to donate money for her to be able to buy the socks. They also reached out to Tade’s co-workers.
“The response was amazing,” Tade said. “People were very generous.”
So how many pairs socks did Taylynn collect?
“About 2,000,” was Taylynn’s response. Well maybe not quite that many, but they did collect “four or five Walmart bags,” according to Tade.
Taylynn Krakilo with the socks she collected in 2018.
The beautiful thing was that there was money left over after buying the socks so, with Grandma’s help, Taylynn and Tade Jr. shopped for other useful items such as toilet paper, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, soap, and other toiletries.
But wait, there’s more. After all the socks and all the toiletries, they still had about $75 left.
“What do you want to do with the rest of the money?” Tegan asked.
“Let’s give them a pizza party!”
And that’s just what they did. They bought $75 worth of Little Caesar’s pizza and threw a pizza party.
As you might imagine, the recipients of Taylynn’s kindness were overflowing with gratitude. They were especially thrilled, particularly the children, to have all the colorful socks.
And how did Tegan and Tade feel about Taylynn’s project?
“I was so proud of her!” Tade said. “She was totally selfless. Just very proud.”
“I was amazed at the sense of leadership she showed for someone so young. She was five and a half and had no fear being in front of cameras.
“It was also a thrill to see how excited she got when the donations were coming in or when her grandma took her shopping. She had a big smile on her face and she told everyone in the grocery line about her project. People were so impressed they gave her a lot of hugs.”
Having spent time with Taylynn, it’s no surprise to me that people gave her lots of hugs. She’s totally lovable and huggable!
Now, the next question is, “What are you doing this year Taylynn?”
To get that answer, you’ll have to read part two, next week.
Has your life been touched by kindness in action, either giving or receiving? Do you have a story to share. If so, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you. Please note that upon request, I am happy to change names to protect those who want to share but want to remain anonymous.
If you would like a copy Randy’s book. You can find it on Amazon here.