January 2018 saw the launch of HuffPost UK: HumanKind – a section devoted to kindness and giving back. Since then we’ve reported on hundreds of people who’ve done incredible things – from the couple building wheelchairs for disabled animals to the doctor who soothed a crying baby while running a busy hospital ward all so the baby’s mum could have some much-needed tests.
But among the most heartwarming stories have been the children who have done amazing things to help others. From the little girl who asked people to donate to charity instead of buying her birthday presents to those getting creative to help homeless people, here are some of the kindest kids we’ve come across in 2018.
The Little Girl Who Donated All Her Birthday Money To Help Animals
For her fourth birthday, all Olive wanted was money to donate to a local animal charity. And the youngster from Whitstable, Kent, ended up raising £90, which she hand-delivered with pride.
“Olive said she had lots of lovely toys at home already and she didn’t need any more,” her mum Jade Kay, 32, told HuffPost UK in January. “Being only just four and having this compassion and empathy makes me a very proud mumma.”
The Boy Paralysed By A Rare Virus Who Helped Other Kids In Hospital
McKenzie Brackley from Leven, Fife, was two when he contracted enterovirus – a rare illness which caused nerve damage in his neck and left him paralysed to the point where he couldn’t even breathe by himself. He was in intensive care for three months and remained in hospital for a further 13 months during which time he had to learn to breathe, swallow, walk and talk again.
But the ordeal has never stopped him from being kind. His mum told HuffPost UK: “There was a little girl in there with the same virus as him and they used to hate having their tracheotomy tubes changed and having blood tests so they used to sit there and shout ‘I love you’ to each other and he’d go over and hold her hand when she had her blood test.”
McKenzie would also give the baby in the neighbouring hospital bed his favourite toys if she got upset and helped nurses pick her clothes for the day. When he wasn’t doing that, he was trying to help the cleaners.
In August this year the four-year-old received an award from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for his inspirational courage in overcoming life-threatening illness.
The Boy Collecting Warm Socks For Homeless People
An 11-year-old boy was determined to do something to help homeless people, after seeing many sitting out in the cold in Edinburgh one evening while walking home. Joseph Cox started Socks For The Street in September 2017, when he did a callout for people to donate new socks at drop-off points around Edinburgh. Once he had received enough donations, Joseph and his mum started to hand out the socks to people living on the streets.
He has since handed out thousands of pairs of socks to those in need.
“One guy sniffed his socks and said he had not smelt new clothes in a long time. He was very happy,” said Joseph. “It’s really nice to be able to help.”
The 11-Year-Old Transplant Patient Giving Back To The Hospital That Saved Her Life
Ella Chadwick received a Pride of Britain award in October for her incredible show of kindness in the face of life-threatening health challenges. Born with congenital nephrotic syndrome, a kidney condition which quickly led to kidney failure, Ella had a transplant from her dad when she was just three.
However, it failed immediately due to a blood clot. She’s since had strokes, sepsis and pneumonia, meaning much of her childhood has been spent in hospital. But thanks to a second life-saving kidney transplant four years ago from her grandma, Ella is not only doing better but has raised £5,000 for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital where she spent much of her childhood.
In 2016 she also handmade 250 ‘get well soon’ cards for kids at the hospital whom she barely knew because, she said: “I wanted to make them better.”
8-Year-Old Fills Backpacks With Warm Essentials For Homeless People
When Jacob Rabi-Laleh saw homeless people taking shelter in scaffolding on the street, he was shocked. “It was cold, so I asked mummy if they’d have anywhere to go,” he told HuffPost UK. “When she said that sometimes people don’t have families or friends to help them, I decided I wanted to help.”
Jacob, who is eight, went home and created a poster asking for people to donate items of warm clothing. Initially, his aim was to fill 10 backpacks with warm clothes to give to the people he saw. A year on, he’s filled hundreds of bags for the homeless. “I just think it is so important to be kind,” he said.
HumanKind is HuffPost’s celebration of kindness, featuring people who do incredible things for others or the planet – transforming lives through small but significant acts. Get involved by joining us on Facebook or telling us about the people who you think deserve recognition for their kind works. You can nominate them here or share your personal story by emailing email@example.com.