TAMPA (FOX 13) - A child's caring heart sparked her mother to start a movement to help the less fortunate, and now the grassroots effort has turned into a full mission.
Faith is important for Sarah McDugal and her 5-year-old daughter, Sophie and 7-year-old son, Tristan. One day at church, a video was shown of refugees from the middle east fleeing into Greece.
Sophie's heart was moved by the pictures.
"I was sad," Sophie said. "I saw them liked wrapped up with rags, towels, and they were freezing. I said, 'Mama, how can we help?'"
Sophie's compassion for the refugees touched her mother's heart, so she started a Facebook campaign to sponsor a humanitarian trip to Greece.
"I think it is amazing that a 5-year-old can spark a whole movement of something very grassroots," Sophie's mom, Sarah said.
In two months, Sarah and her children signed up more than 70 people for the trip to Greece.
"You know, when a 5-year-old can look into something happening, where people are hurting in our world, and can see room for empathy and compassion," Sarah said. "I think the message should be to all grown-ups, this is how we ought to be living our lives."
The group went for two weeks and performed 900 dental procedures in three different camps in Greece.
"It was great," Sophie said.
It was a life experience that Sarah hopes teaches her kids about the importance of serving others.
"Living without regret is giving my children opportunities to serve other people and to show and develop compassion and empathy that's what lacking in our world," Sarah said.
The group plans another trip later this year. For more information, visit www.EXILIOprojects.org.