Social experiment asks children to choose between giving or receiving the perfect present

A few dozen low-income children in Atlanta were asked recently to make a difficult choice: They could have the Christmas present of their dreams. Or they could give a gift of their choosing to a parent.These children, who ranged from 6 to 11 years old, belong to the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta, where 83 percent are from poor families. Some can’t afford to put up a Christmas tree at home.Their wishes for themselves ranged from a computer to an Xbox 360 to a Barbie house. When asked what they thought their parents would want, one little boy guessed a ring because “she’s never really had a ring.” Another said a television. The next said a watch.

Then the kids were given their dream gift. And the gift for their parents. With both gifts sitting in front of them, they were told they could only pick one.
In the end, they all chose to sacrifice what they wanted to make their parent happy.

Adrienne Leon, the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta marketing specialist, said the parents were blown away that their kids chose to give to them and were so attuned to what they would want and enjoy.The video is a project of UP TV, a television channel dedicated to uplifting programming. The network has an “uplift someone” campaign, and the theme this year is “give it up,” to encourage people to think about what they’d be willing to give up to help another.Wendy McCoy, UP TV senior vice president of marketing, said the organizers were amazed at the children’s selflessness and “how touched they were to be able to make this choice.” “I saw pride there for them to be able to make that sacrifice,” she said. “It’s really driving home the true meaning of Christmas that it’s better to give than receive.”And in that spirit, the network ultimately let the kids keep both gifts.

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