One fairy tale that I love to share with my students at this time of year is The Little Match Girl, written by Hans Christian Andersen in 1845. The story has such a profound impact on my view about child poverty in the past and the present. I often read this story to my students before I launch the Community Food Drive in my school.

 

The setting of this story was taken place between Christmas and New Year, the most joyful time of the year for every family. Nowadays, how many children can really relate to the main character who was selling matches on the street in the cold New Year's Eve? However, some of my students are occasional food bank users, or they know somebody who uses the food bank. So, they certainly can understand how the hungry girl must have felt when dreaming of that fat juicy meal on the table. 

 

This story is one of those fairy tales that does not have a happy ending. Most fairy tale characters live a life happily ever after, but in real life, not all of us can live a fairy tale ending. I don't try to give my students a harsh life lesson. I just want them to understand while we live a comfortable life with our family and friends, we should also extend our compassion and empathy to those who are in need in our community.  It is a great feeling to be able to help those people put a hot meal on their table through this holiday season. Don't forget to contribute as much as you can to help others!

 

The following is the story of The Little Match Girl translated by Jean Hersholt.

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