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Girls' Bake Sale for Boston Bombing Raises Thousands

Four best friends in Squantum, Massachusetts were so moved by the horror of the Boston marathon bombing that they decided to do something about it.  

The girls -- Mary, Lara, Brigon, and Kieren --set up a bake sale and lemonade stand to raise money for the Martin Family. Richard Martin, an 8-year-old boy who loved climbing trees and riding his bike, was one of three victims who lost their lives last week. His 6-year-old sister lost a leg, and his mother is hospitalized with brain damage.

Plus: Kids and Charity

“The girls they were expecting maybe to raise $100 or $200, and I think we're up to $3,000 right now,” Trish, one of the girl’s moms, tells NBC News.

Trish said that the girls, who are 9 and 10 years old, can relate to Richard Martin.

“He's in their age group,” she explained. “They can empathize with the family, and they wanted to do something.”

Experts say that kids can benefit by volunteering to participate in a charitable cause.  According to research, kids are three times more likely to do good if at least one of their parents volunteers.

Plus:  Raising a Compassionate Child

Deborah Spaide, founder of Kids Care Clubs, a national organization based in New Canaan, CT, recommends that kids get hands-on experience rather than simply donate money. Parents should let their kids take the lead and follow their interests since they’ll feel more engaged and learn more from the experience.

"Children naturally look for ways to make a contribution and help others," Spaide tells "But just as we give our children opportunities to use their legs when they're learning to walk, we need to give them opportunities to exercise their charitable muscles so they become really good at giving too."