Young people read about the talents and interests of people who took action for the common good during the Civil War and Reconstruction. The youth identify some of their own talents and match them to nonprofit organizations they can support today.

The purpose of the lesson is to create an awareness of local agencies that provide services for needy people, teens, and families in the community. Students will also learn the motivations for giving and see how help is provided to the community through the four sectors of the economy. Students will research and select a community agency and plan a service-learning project.

Students select an issue area and research on the Internet, specifically the Learning to Give briefing papers to identify philanthropists and philanthropic organizations who have an interest in addressing that issue. Using the information gained from research, students write a persuasive letter to a philanthropist or philanthropic organization in support of a worthwhile cause in the community.

Young people demonstrate that gifts do not need to be purchased with money. The best gifts are things we do with our time and talent for someone else. They brainstorm "kindness" types of gifts, such as a service or a homemade creation. They make a gift of kindness certificates. 

Youth will interact with older citizens in order to make intergenerational connections in the community, discover the wealth of history around us, and develop pride in and a sense of connection to their community.