After its release on Dec. 3, "Unselfish Kids," a book written by a local father-daughter duo, received national attention.
Sammie Parkinson and her father, Paul, who lives in Logan, spent the last year and a half collecting stories highlighting the selfless and charitable acts of children all over the country. This collection became the second book in Paul’s popular Unselfish series.
On the day the book was released, three of the children featured in the book joined Paul and Sammie on NBC’s Today Show.
“It was such a fun experience to be there together,” Paul said. “It was almost surreal to sit there on TV and realize that you can create something positive and have it be such a success. We may sell 100 books or 1,000, but really the journey we had together is as good as it gets.”
This journey began in 2016.
After realizing she wanted to get out of a college classroom, Sammie traveled to Thailand and Fiji for humanitarian trips before working with inner-city kids in Los Angeles. These experiences showed her the good and bad of the world and led to conversations with her father about the need to share more positivity.
This prompted the idea to search for the good and share it in a book. Sammie began searching for 40 stories of elementary-aged children doing good around the world.
After getting off the phone with the mother of a young girl who collected over 49,000 boxes of crayons and donated them to hospitals, Sammie said she started crying.
“I just couldn't believe that a child can be this good,” Sammie said. “She was just genuinely a kind, good person. That was the story that pushed me to keep going, because I want people to have that same experience when they read it. I want people to be inspired and want to do good.”
The stories range from children starting nonprofits to helping people cross the street. One story included in the collection outlines how a volunteer in Africa shared half a sandwich with a young boy and that boy immediately turned around and shared half of his half with his friend.
“I think we all feel at times that if we don’t do something big, will it even make a difference?” Paul said. “But a lot of these stories show how just a small thing can literally change someone’s life.”
A couple pages in the back of the book provide room for the readers to outline their ideas and plans to help people around them.
Paul said he hopes this book sparks conversations with parents and children about how to make a difference. He believes children can change the world and dedicated the book to all children everywhere.
“I still remember in middle school, my dad would always ask me every single day after school if I had sat by someone new at lunch or if I did something kind today,” Sammie said. “It kicked off my love for service because I felt so proud to be able to say yes. I hope this book will spark similar conversations and inspire passion.”
Unselfish Kids can be purchased online at www.unselfishstories.com or at the Coppin’s Hallmark Shop located at 15 N. Main St., Logan, Utah.