Earlier this summer, we caught up with Arden Denyer-Willis, age 10, who made her broadcasting debut as narrator of the 10th and final episode of the Anglican Foundation of Canada’s (AFC) Foundation Forward podcast. The extended season finale was based on Judy Rois’ 3rd children’s book Generous People are Everywhere, and featured thoughts on generosity submitted by kids from across Canada.
Arden, a Canadian who lives with her parents in Cambridge, England, said she was surprised to hear the sound of her recorded voice in the finished podcast. “I did not know what my accent sounded like because, to me, my voice just sounds normal. But when I heard it recorded, I could really tell the difference.” Arden, who enjoyed the recording process, was able to tape each chapter of the book in only one or two takes. “I can imagine myself doing something like that again,” she says.
In addition to introducing Arden to the mechanics of broadcasting, Generous People are Everywhere left a lasting impression and she was eager to share her own views about generosity. “As soon as I heard the questions in the book, I instantly thought of answers about what I had done and what I would do in the future,” she explains. The book asks simple but pointed questions that are meant to be a starting point for a broader discussion about generosity as a way of life.
“I have a dog,” said Arden, “a red Irish Setter named Swift, and he is generous, in some ways, comforting me when I am sad. And my parents are generous people. They are always doing things that really benefit other people…just listening to them has made me more generous.”
As to what motivates some people to be more generous than others, Arden says, “A lot of the time, when I meet people, they are very generous. I think people who do share their things have maybe had a time when they needed someone to be generous with them, and they are trying to do the same.”
Arden readily admits that generosity can sometimes be tough, especially when a younger sibling is involved. “It’s hard to be generous to my brother Jude,” she says with a giggle. But she has hope for what the future might bring on that front. “I think when we’re older,” she says, pausing to think about what, exactly, that means, “it will be easier because we will understand each other better then.”
AFC is grateful to Arden and all the children who were involved with Foundation Forward’s season finale. “Nurturing generous-hearted living may be one of the greatest things we can do for young people,” says Judy Rois, Executive Director, AFC. “Through their involvement, these kids helped us to continue to stimulate a conversation about an important spiritual topic that has the potential to be transformational in a child’s life.”
You can listen now to Foundation Forward’s season finale. To obtain a copy of Generous People are Everywhere, visit the AFC store, where you will also find Children’s Prayers with Hope Bear and Dear God: Prayers for Young Children.