This all-new History of US Philanthropy Timeline features stories of diverse individuals and organizations who have used their time, voice, connections and resources to make an impact on the world. Young people, who are capable changemakers, can examine this history to question and explore the ways philanthropy has created lasting change and changed itself. By sharing stories of the past, we equip and empower youth to shape the story of philanthropy today and in the future.

Recognizing that each person has their own story as complex and meaningful as one's own, we build empathy and connection to others. When we take care of our own worries, needs, and joys, we can be better balanced for collaborating with others for a better world. 

Self-care and social-emotional well-being are foundational aspects of effective philanthropy. By exploring their own needs and practicing empathy, youth learn to be constructive members of a community from a place of strength and balance. This lesson is best in collaboration with a social worker. 

In this lesson, the learners tell stories of two events in history: a current event from their own point of view and an earlier significant event shared by an older friend or relative. They compare and evaluate how philanthropy responded to each event as well as how they each disrupted education, created fear, brought the community together, and made lasting changes. They also learn about primary and secondary sources and reflect on the lenses through which history is preserved. 

With similar motivations to present-day refugees, African Americans moved north in the mid-1800s to escape slavery and unsafe living conditions in the South. Detroit was an important location where Conductors on the Underground Railroad helped thousands to cross the Detroit River into Canada. In this lesson, we use visual literacy to analyze public art monuments that commemorate historical people and the personal risks that brought people to safety in Canada. 

Settlement houses aimed to improve the lives of community members by addressing social challenges and promoting social welfare. In this lesson, we explore how they addressed the needs of the community where government efforts fell short. Many communities still have similar programs. 

The Free Breakfast for Children Program of the 1960s exemplified mutual aid and differed from traditional charity while still being a form of philanthropy. We discover and learn how the people of a community most affected by issues, including young people, are sometimes the most able to find ways forward to address needs.

In this activity by Joyce Matthews, youth explore what makes up an identity, then build a deeper understanding of how their identity impacts the community. With this Read, Research, Reflect, and Reach Out model, youth travel a journey of self-discovery that leads to service. This discovery-to-action model can be used in other contexts. 

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