NBC Nightly News

Nightly News   |  January 02, 2014

Giving ‘Makes Me Feel Like a Hero’

A New York-based charity called Family-to-Family is helping children learn how to give to those less fortunate. NBC’s Rehema Ellis reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> finally tonight our making a difference report is about a powerful lesson kids are learning as early as elementary school about the importance of giving back after someone has done the same for you. in our report tonight, from rehema ellis.

>> reporter: at the party store it didn't take long for students to pick out supplies for the school project.

>> i love how everything coordinates.

>> reporter: once back at p.s. 47 in the queens section of new york city , the whole class of 3rd graders pitched in to write cards and choose their favorite items to fill birthday party bags for kids they don't know.

>> they can feel good.

>> reporter: to understand why they are doing this we have to show you where the givers are from. theirle school sits just steps from the water's edge. when hurricane sandy hit last year it devastated the community. people rallied to help. realizing this was a teachable moment the school put together a lesson on giving back. they partnered with a charity called family to family which donated the money to buy the party gifts that will go to a food panry or to needy kids at other schools.

>> the students may be experiencing a tremendous challenge, there is still someone out there who needs their help.

>> reporter: it is a message that's spreading.

>> how are we going to give to other children for their birthdays?

>> we could send stuff that they don't have.

>> reporter: at p.s. 317, another elementary school t not far away , 85% of students qualify for the free or reduced lunch program . now they are turning the tide.

>> it's very important for children to learn how to give today so they can become adults who give tomorrow.

>> reporter: why do you think it's so important to give something to somebody you don't know?

>> because giving is the best thing.

>> reporter: for 10-year-old star ashmore it's an honor.

>> makes me feel like a hero.

>> this is the best time ever.

>> reporter: children learning in the art of giving something away. they get something, too. rehema ellis, nbc news, new york.