Inspiring Gen-Zers: This 9-Year-Old Brought Hope to 56 Kids

We believe young people are inspiring and capable — young people from both around the world and in the United States. This article is written by a 9-year-old who will teach you wisdom and bravery. Scroll to the end to meet Grace by video! 

A girl walks down a street block, carrying a backpack.

One day a 9-year-old girl got picked up from school by her dad. The mailbox was on the way home, so they stopped to grab the mail. As the little girl looked through the mail, a pamphlet caught her eye. It was from Compassion International, but not one about sponsoring a kid or anything like that. It was one she had never seen before. The title read, Host Your Own Compassion Sunday!

On the short drive from the mailbox to her house, the girl looked through the pamphlet. As she walked into the house, she asked her dad if they could host a Compassion Sunday. As always, her dad was supportive. They signed up for the event and he asked her, “Do you want help, or do you want to take the lead on this?” And you can guess what this independent, creative little girl said. She answered, “I want to do it by myself.”

I am that little girl. My name is Grace Farrell, and I was only 9 when I did my first Compassion Sunday event.

A girl in a T-shirt that says Compassion leans against a wall.

I have always loved helping people. My parents have raised me that way. They want my brother and me to try and help others in need. One of my teachers has a saying, “See a need, fill a need.” This was one need that I saw, and I saw a way to help. I’ve always had that “Can Do” attitude. So when I saw that pamphlet, I jumped to it.

When you are in poverty, it is hard to have hope. Doing this event and getting kids sponsored would bring people’s hope back. I wanted to do that!

So I did, and over the past two years, through Compassion Sunday events, I have brought hope to 56 children and their families, as well as their sponsors.

Presenting at my church is always exciting, but also nerve-racking.

A girl stands on the stage of a church, speaking into a microphone.

It’s hard to present in front of a bunch of adults, and this year I also presented at my school. But once I am up there, the nerves just go away. I focus on what the presentation is, and I stay tuned into my speech. When I present about Compassion and the children in need, I feel excited that I get to help release kids from poverty and change their lives forever.

I think helping each other out more could bring people closer as a community. This is one thing I think is more of a struggle here in the United States than in other countries. In the United States people are worried about themselves so much that they don’t stop and do things for each other. It has been awesome to join Compassion in their mission of helping kids. Thank you for sponsoring a child — your sponsorship truly is a way to bring hope to children and their families all over the world.

Last year, I got the chance to see the difference sponsorship makes and meet the girl I sponsor!

Two girls stand on a field, looking at each other.

Meeting Gabriela was one of the coolest experiences I have ever had. It was crazy to not just see pictures, but to actually get to see her, actually get to hug her. It was refreshing to see a different lifestyle. The most different lifestyle I had experienced before going to El Salvador was California. Even though California is very different than Washington, most U.S. states have a similar culture.

Going to see Gabby taught me something. It taught me that we need to be thankful for what we have. We shouldn’t want what others have because we already have so much.

Doing my Compassion Sunday also taught me something.

It taught me that no matter how old you are, you can do anything. Keep reaching for your goals.

There is a Bible verse that talks about this: 1 Timothy 4:12. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” So remember, it doesn’t matter how old you are, or where you live, you can do anything!

Meet Grace and Gabriela

Watch Inspiring Gen-Zers and subscribe to Compassion YouTube for more stories.

Do you want to be a brave world-changer like Grace?

Compassion Sunday is an opportunity for you to share your heart for children in poverty with those who could change their lives forever — your church family. On this special day, you’ll be joining thousands of other churches in speaking up for those in need. Compassion Sunday is April 26, but you can also host a Compassion Sunday anytime. We’ll give you all the support you need along the way.

Be Like Grace ›

Photos and video by Rich Martinson, Casey Scofield and Will Stark.

7 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Aaron David Ruiz November 28, 2020

    Thank you Grace and your family too for feeding His lambs, just like Jesus told Peter to do. I am so glad that you got to meet one of your sponsored children in their community. You shine for Jesus and always will! 🙂

  2. Honey Louise Lobdell January 29, 2020

    I thought this was a great story. I was glad to read it. I’m glad young kids are involved in Compassion!!!! That’s awesome!!!!

  3. Lynn M. January 29, 2020

    This post by Grace about hosting Compassion Sunday at her church and meeting Gabby was incredibly moving. Some things just bring a person to tears, you know? Her family sounds amazing. Please give them my love and thanks and very best wishes. I think Grace is fulfilling her name and has a very bright future ahead.

    1. Mackenzie January 29, 2020

      Lynn, thank you so much for your kind words! We are so thankful for Grace’s generous heart to advocate for children living in poverty! ❤

  4. Bunmi Atteh January 29, 2020

    It is beautiful to know that God works through all of us, even the little ones like Grace. May God continually smile on all of you, sponsors, those who are being sponsored, compassion team and everyone involved in this beautiful act of service.

  5. Pastor Fabien January 28, 2020

    hello it is good and honourables if this is right like how you wrote, because I prefer to tell my relatives, brothers ,sisters,friends and families that if your heart is not right your: words,actions and characters will also not be right. this is because the kind of things you allow in your heart determine the kind of things that come out of you.
    congratulations keep working this I do believe in God that he will repay you. I will pray for you so that may be we shall meet some day or time . I too I have such project like yours . would you better allow me to cooperate with you? thank you I am African on Rwanda.
    my contact: p**********

    1. Sierra January 28, 2020

      Hello Pastor Fabien! Thank you so much for reaching out to us, and for the work you are doing in your community! If you are interested in opening up a new partnership with Compassion International through your church, would you please send us an email to [email protected]? We look forward to hearing from you there!

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