Fourth graders care, and know what’s really important

Published 9:04 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2022

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By Jane Simpson

Davie Community


I have the best job in Davie County.

The people I have the privilege of working with at the foundation office and in the community are the kindest, most generous people with a heart for Davie County.

In November I had the privilege of talking with another wonderful community group. I was invited to talk with 66 fourth grade children at William R. Davie Elementary about charities and about the Davie Community Foundation.

As you might imagine, talking to 66 9-and 10-year-olds was a bit scary. I spent days trying to figure out how to explain the community foundation on a level they would understand. It takes adults years to really grasp all that the community foundation does.

We talked about the difference in focus of for-profit businesses vs. non-profit businesses and charities. They seemed to understand that. Then we talked about the fact that generous people in the community give money to the Davie Community Foundation who then uses that money to make grants in areas of greatest need in our county.

We discussed what those needs might be as we approach the last month of the year. Together we created a list of the top five things: Shelter, Food and Water, Warm Clothing, Medicine, and Toys for Kids (after all, it is almost Christmas).

The students were gathered into small groups and given an envelope of play money. They were encouraged to talk to each other about how they should use the dollars they were given to make grants to help people. They could put all of the dollars in one bucket or split the dollars up to help with more than one need. Anyone walking by the media center that day probably thought it was a bit chaotic but making good decisions takes conversation at any age.

Once everyone had the chance to make their grants, we counted the dollars deposited in each bucket. The results made me so proud of those children.

Medicine received the largest grant with more than $24,000. Shelter and Warm Clothing received grants in the range of $3,500 and Food & Water received $2,700. The most shocking total was the amount of grant money awarded for Toys for Kids – $247.

Our young fourth grade students understand that having the medicine you need, and basic food and shelter are so much more important than toys.

I came away believing that kids may seem self-centered at times, wanting everything they see, but at the end of the day they know what’s really important. What a great message for the holiday season. You should take time to talk with some of Davie’s kids. You will find they are actually kind and caring, and they know deep down that life isn’t just about toys.

To learn more, contact Simpson at (336) 753-6903, or visit