Graham Dahl may only be six years old, but his compassion for others is well beyond his years.
It all started because Graham’s parents, Bismarck natives Brian and Sarah Dahl, felt it was important to teach their children the impact of charity at a young age.
“We wish to teach them the importance of having a charitable heart, and giving back to our wonderful community,” Graham’s mother, Sarah Dahl said.
Sarah said Graham was coming up on his fifth birthday in early 2019 when he told his mom and dad he was worried he might not have the power to make an impact on the Bismarck community as a child.
Then, Brian and Sarah gave Graham the idea to ask for something other than gifts.
“With his party coming up, we suggested that he forgo presents from his friends and ask them to help him make a difference,” Sarah said.
That’s when Graham decided he wanted to help children at CHI St. Alexius Medical Center. Sarah said after connecting with staff there, the Dahls learned the children at the hospital love pajamas with popular characters on them.
“He asked his friends to bring a pair of pajamas instead of a birthday gift and ended up with 47 pairs of pajamas to donate,” Sarah said.
Graham got to personally deliver his donation to the pediatric unit at CHI St. Alexius, and even took a tour of the unit with nurses on staff.
This year, as his sixth birthday approached, Graham once again decided to ask for donations instead of birthday presents.
“He decided he wanted to help feed hungry people in our town at te Bismarck Emergency Food Pantry for his birthday. He asked his friends to bring canned food to his party instead of gifts, and he delivered 100 cans of food,” Sarah said.
Once again, Graham was excited to personally deliver his donations to the pantry and even helped stock the shelves himself.
Graham’s mother said the ability to personally see the difference he makes in people’s lives is his favorite part.
“Personally delivering his collection of donations is the real gift to Graham,” Sarah explained, “He gained perspective and experienced personal satisfaction of making a positive difference.”
The Dahls say they are so proud of the selflessness and compassion Graham is showing at such an early age, and they are excited to see who Graham decides to help next year.