Service Sparks: Compassionate Expressions

Grade Level: 
K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Simple Safe Service
Trauma-Informed Practice
Ignite meaningful action that lights up the world through "Service Sparks" youth projects! Respond to a traumatic event or loss by sending words of encouragement and empathy to victims or survivors to let them know you care and they are not alone.


Ignite meaningful action that lights up the world through "Service Sparks" youth projects!


When tragedy strikes, like a school shooting or natural disaster, our first thought is often to find ways to help. While we may not know what others are going through, we can empathize and give words of encouragement through cards, drawings, music, poetry and art. 



  1. When something happens that causes others to feel pain and loss, we can experience empathy and a desire to do something to help. Here is a comparison between the terms empathy, sympathy, and compassion.
  2. Before acting, learn what you can about the situation and reflect on your own feelings and the feelings of people who have been affected. Here are some resources that can guide conversations and reflection about what happened:
  1. Read about Rachel's Challenge, which exists to equip and inspire individuals to replace acts of violence, bullying, and negativity with acts of respect, kindness, and compassion. 
  2. Brainstorm some messages of hope and healing. Words that encourage and show love include the following: I hope you are okay. There is hope. Sending you love. Keep moving forward.
  3. Make cards, drawings, music, video, poetry, or art to express your loving support and encouragement.  
  4. Find out the best place to send a message to victims of the tragedy. It could be a local nonprofit, hospital, school or media station. 
  5. Read more about how to advocate for changes to laws to protect people from further harm. 

Reflection: What does it mean to be compassionate and empathetic to the suffering of others?

Explore more Service Sparks projects:


Learning to Give ... 

  1. educates youth about philanthropy, the civil society sector, and the importance of giving their time, talent and treasure for the common good (knowledge),
  2. equips youth by encouraging philanthropic behavior and experience (skills), and,
  3. empowers youth to take voluntary citizen action for the common good in their classrooms, lives and communities (behavior).