Why I want my students to be involved in volunteering and service, etc.
I grew up in a household that focused on philanthropy. It was a part of my childhood. As we moved frequently, my parents insisted I become involved in the community where we lived at the time. The experiences helped me meet the most amazing people and participate in big projects. I learned to feel good about giving back without expecting anything in return.
Tips for infusing philanthropy...
We partnered with our local Kiwanis group on their project called “Kids in Need.” They collect travel-size health and beauty items for Riley Hospital families to use when there is no time to pack a bag when they rush their child to the hospital. We brought in guests representing the private, public and nonprofit sectors and discussed roles of each in meeting community needs. Two members of Kiwanis, (the Visitor's Bureau president and a local optometrist) spoke to the students about the “Kids in Need” program and what was needed. The students were motivated to get started by listing the most important needed items and brainstorming ways to collect those items. We had grant funding to get started shopping, and the students donated their own money (by seeking babysitting and other jobs). They also sought donations of beauty items from hotels and the local college. Once everything was collected, we presented the gift to the Kiwanis.
I taught this LTG lesson
We started with a Learning to Give lesson “Hmmm, What is Philanthropy?” to compare the roles of the nonprofit sector with government, business, and individuals. The students defined philanthropy in their own words. They identified their individual skills, talents, and interests that could be applied to voluntary action for the common good. They researched examples of local nonprofits doing good work in the community.
The students in this class were amazing. This project brought them closer together as they collaborated to do something that made a difference, and it gave them confidence to start other projects and look for other ways to help. I feel like the kids have made several impacts on the community. First, as a result of this project, good news came from the middle school. The community saw our kids as assets, making the community stronger. Second, great community members come into our school and raised student awareness of different community roles and potential careers. Third, our students who had been at Riley Hospital themselves were pleased to be able to give back. Finally, we did something to make parents lives’ easier while their kids are at Riley.