Dear American Girl,

I see sad things happening on the news every day, and it makes me want to help somehow. I don’t know what to do and that makes me feel upset. How can I help?

Here's your advice:

Sometimes I feel like that, too. You could try to write how you feel and share it with people you trust.
-Val, age 14, New York

You don’t have to do huge things to make a difference. Small and helpful things are just as important. Ask a parent about volunteering around town or picking up litter at a park.
-Abby, age 11, Texas

Pick an issue you want to focus on. For example, if you love animals, ask if you can volunteer at your local animal shelter. Choose something you really love because then you’ll really give it your all.
-Sarah, age 8, Washington

Talk to your parents or a trusted adult. Thumbs-up for wanting to make a difference.
-Lizzie, age 13, South Dakota

My friends and I sponsor three children living in different countries around the world. We donate money each month and it goes toward the children’s food, water, shelter, and education. If this sounds cool to you, you could ask your parents if you can do the same.
-An American Girl fan

My mom once gave me this quote when I was feeling the same way: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Maybe it will help you.
-Sami, age 10, Ohio

Changing the world isn’t easy. I’d suggest starting with something small. You can’t help everyone, but you can help someone. Think really hard about where you want to start.
-Kiralelle, age 11, Texas

Help out with your local food drive, donate toys, or recycle. Many small acts can have a big impact.
-Kelly, age 12, Massachusetts

You could organize a fund-raiser or have a lemonade stand and then donate the money to a good cause.
-Bailey, age 11, California

I hear about what’s happening on the news, and it breaks my heart. Find a cause that’s important to you and donate your time or money to it.
-Julianna, age 12, California

It’s great that you want to help. Talk to a parent about how you’re feeling, and make a plan. Maybe one of your parents is interested in the same issues you are.
-Maeve, age 10, Canada

When I see sad news on TV, I usually want to help with big things. However, my mom said it could be more helpful to work on something in my own community. You could find a way to help in your own neighborhood or school.
-An American Girl fan

You could start a small group or club for volunteers. All of you could work together to make the world a better place.
-Ariana, age 10, Florida

Sometimes certain news stories aren’t appropriate for kids. I used to get really upset about things I saw on TV, so I decided to wait until I’m older to watch. I think my plan is OK. I still help and volunteer as much as I can.
-Sophia, age 12, Colorado

Stories on the news can be really overwhelming. When I feel this way, I look for happy news stories. Those are harder to find even though they exist.
-An American Girl fan

Smile at someone who needs cheering up. Sometimes a smile can make a world of difference.
-Abby, age 12, North Carolina

HELP! from You