Dear American Girl,
A house in my neighborhood just burned down. I feel so bad for the family, but I don't think there's anything I can do because I'm just a kid. Still, I'd like to try. What thing can I do to help, even if it's something small?
-Here to help
Here's your advice:
With a parent's permission, you could organize a donation drive in your neighborhood. Ask your neighbors to gather toys, canned foods, blankets, and other supplies for this family. It could make them feel very loved.
-An American Girl fan, age 10, North Carolina
If there are young children in this family, offer to babysit for free. If the kids are your age, ask them to a movie or to come over to play. And if there are no kids, just offer your help and ask what you can do to help.
-Eiley, age 12, Oregon
A house burned down in my neighborhood, too. I gave the family a teddy bear that said "Feel Better" on its tummy, and they loved it. Remember, sometimes less is more.
-Emma, age 11, Virginia
Ask your parents if you can have the family over to your house for dinner. I'm sure they would appreciate a home-cooked meal.
-Megan, age 10, Wisconsin
Look through your closet for clothes you can donate to the family. Ask the rest of your family members if they can donate clothing, too.
-Emily, age 9, Tennessee
When my neighbors' house burned down, I felt sad. So I made a card and helped my mom make a dinner to bring to them. These might seem like small things, but they loved that we thought of them.
-Chloe, age 10, Kentucky
Write a heartfelt note to the family and say you'd like to help. Even if there isn't a way to help right now, it'll make them feel good to know you care.
-Cammie, age 12, New York
Something like that happened in my neighborhood, too. I wanted to help the family, so I decided to give them my allowance money, even though it was just $50. The family was very touched by my gift.
-Lucia, age 10, New Jersey
You could put together a basket of necessities for this family. Include shampoo, toothpaste, soap, and anything else you think they might need.
-Molly, age 11, Indiana
After a house burned down in my neighborhood, my mom and I made hot chocolate for the family since it was cold outside. Their faces lit up when we gave them the hot chocolate. Even something that seems small can make a difference.
-Jules, age 10, Georgia
You could ask your parents if you could host a party. Invite the family whose house burned down and other neighbors, too. They could have some fun, and the whole neighborhood can show their support.
-Wave, age 12, Oregon
Bake a batch of delicious cookies to let the family know you care. Even though that's not huge, it will show them that you want to help them get though a difficult time.
-An American Girl fan, age 10, New York
Make a nice picture for them. When they rebuild their house or move somewhere new, they'll have something cheery to put on the wall. A homemade gift will show them that it came from your heart.
-RyRy, age 11, California
You are a girl with one big heart! Ask your parents to help brainstorm things you can do for them. They might have some great ideas for kid-sized ways to help.
-Jillian, age 12, New York
You don't have to do some grand gesture. It can be as easy as being kind and saying, "I'm so sorry about your house. Is there anything I can do?"
-Hannah, age 10, Massachusetts
My house burned down a few years ago. My friends gave me clothes, toiletries, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and books. I was so happy with the gifts. If you don't have money to buy new things, I'm sure the family would appreciate lightly used items that you don't need. People also gave us gift cards, and those helped, too. We appreciated all of the help we got, big and small.
-An American Girl fan, age 10, California