ARVADA — What if a child could change the world? That’s exactly what Áine Peterson is trying to do by spreading more kindness in the world.
Áine just turned eight Friday but she has big goals. The third grader has created a Kindness Klub at school, she dresses up as a Kindness Krusader for ComicCon, she’s participated in women’s marches and now she’s trying to create a kindness wall.
The idea started when Áine started asking her mother, Kendra, about current events.
It was a difficult conversation for Kendra to have with her daughter.
“We had been talking about what was happening at the border and all the horrible things with kids in cages being denied toothbrushes, and she wanted to do something about it because she has this big, kind heart and was really upset and disturbed by everything,” Kendra said.
She left out some of the details, but felt it was important to tell her daughter the truth. When Áine found out what was happening, she wanted to do something to help.
“I did not like it, so I wanted to try to do something to change it and my best thought was art,” she said.
So Áine and her mother started brainstorming about what they could do and finally decided on the idea of a kindness wall.
They started making Facebook videos and set up a GoFundMe to ask people to send art or donations to make the wall a reality. The artwork will be turned into tiles and placed along the wall.
So far, the family has received about 30 pieces of art, mostly from Colorado. She’s hoping to have enough to fill the entire wall.
Áine and her sisters have even contributed a couple of their own pieces to the collection. Her picture shows four people holding hands and smiling under the world, which is in the shape of a heart.
“I want them to feel happiness and joy since as you can see everyone in the picture is happy,” Áine said.
One of the people in the picture is her hero, Malala Yousafzai. Áine wants to be just like Malala and stand up for what she believes in.
This project is a big undertaking for such a young girl.
“It’s a little overwhelming. Part of me is like my child is thinking so big, is she being a child? And I ask her many times is this what you want to do,” Kendra said. “She says this is important to her so I’m not going tell her no she can’t be kind and try to change the world just because she’s a kid.”
The family hasn’t quite figured out where the wall will end up yet. One of the options is at their church, the First United Church of Christ.
Áine just wants it to be somewhere that everyone will be able to see and visit. She’s hoping this wall of kindness will remind people to find the good in the world and spread it to others.
“Even art can change the world,” Áine said. “Just be kind. You don’t really have to do anything special you just need to be it.”