This lesson may be used with units where students study other countries of the world. In addition to the usual study of climate, resources, and physical and human characteristics of the place being studied, learners will investigate philanthropy, especially related to community solutions to health and human service issues. They meet a representative of a local United Way agency and compare the local United Way effort to programs in other countries.


Students will determine which community need should have greatest priority. Once a priority need has been determined, working as teams, students will research organizations that meet the community need. The research process will use a student-generated list of questions. Finally, students will compile and organize information for a visual presentation.

This final lesson of the unit will serve as an opportunity for each group to share their visual presentation with the class. Then students will compare and contrast the information. Finally, students will engage in thoughtful conversation as they listen to objective and subjective perspectives. This will aid in the decision-making process regarding financial support to an organization which meets a local community need.

Students will become informed about needs within the local community. Using personal experience as members of the community and information provided by a knowledgeable person in the community, students will decide where the need is greatest. Because scarcity of resources requires careful consideration, students will take a position supporting the need s/he feels is of greatest importance.

Students describe the brave work of one female Quaker who served a lifeline for fugitives and freedmen before the Civil War. They research several examples of the philanthropic work of individuals and organizations before, during, and after the Civil War.