8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Students have the opportunity to create a brief video as an application to award someone they admire $1,000 as a needed boost. This lesson guides discussion of why and how to take action for the good of someone in the community. A lesson in mini-grantmaking with a powerful impact on students and community. 

PrintOne 50-Minute Session, Plus Time to Create a Video
Students will know and be able to:
  • define generosity and identify healthy ways to share it.
  • name ways to take action related to an individual’s or a community's need.
  • create a persuasive video as a grant application. 

For the reflection, ask students the following questions:

  • What do you think will happen if your nominee receives this boost?
  • How would it make you feel to give this boost?
  • How will you continue to positively impact your community? How else might you make a difference?


  1. Discuss what it means to be generous. Brainstorm a variety of examples of generosity.

    • Be kind and have good character (listen, be kind, honest, and hard-working)
    • Participate in action and society (vote, volunteer, or contribute to a fundraiser)
    • Take action to seek justice and solutions to root causes (lead a protest, teach others about an issue, help someone overcome a barrier)
  2. Ask some youth to share their answers. This tends to help the person who was “stuck” come up with something to write down because they hear what their peers are sharing and it jogs their memory. 

  3. Write the following question on the board or chart paper: “What is something generous someone you know has done to help others?” Under the question, list at least two examples, such as, “Ms Jones drives people to their chemotherapy appointments.” And, “My uncle plows driveways for free in his neighborhood.”

    Give the young people a few minutes to answer this in writing independently. 
  4. Give a hint of the VING project by telling them that they are going to experience what it's like to be a giver in a meaningful new way and help someone overcome a barrier.

    • "What would it be like to help someone you care about overcome a barrier?"
    • “Can you think of someone in your community (school, neighborhood, city) who has fallen on hard times?”
    • "Why do people who have obstacles continue to be generous in their community?"
  5. Show the video embedded in the slideshow (above) that describes the VING project. 

    Introduce the VING website. and talk about what they would like to do to help someone. The young people may create and submit a video to give someone a boost. Direct them to the "Nominate Now" button on the website.

  6. Display the VING project brainstorm. Start by writing the name of someone they know who needs a boost in the top section. This will serve as the foundation for their VING idea, so it's important and helpful that the person they choose to write about meets the VING criteria - outside of family, over 18, and facing hardship. Go over the remainder of the questions “How do you know this person? How do they need help? What do you hope this person could do with $1,000?” Remind students again of the rules their nominee must be 18+, not related to them, and experiencing financial hardship. Give students time to complete the remainder of the brainstorm

  7. Give time now for students to create their videos at or encourage them to record their videos at a later time.

  8. CELEBRATE! by spreading the VING word! It’s important to acknowledge organizations that help our community and shed light on their hard work. Use your social media influence to tell your friends about the #VING project. Anyone 14-18 can apply at 

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 01. Define Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define philanthropy to include giving and sharing; volunteering; and private individual action intended for the common good. Explain how a volunteer individual/group can act for the common good.
      2. Benchmark HS.2 Identify and discuss examples of philanthropy and charity in modern culture.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Discuss and give examples of why some humans will sacrifice for the benefit of unknown others.
      2. Benchmark HS.4 Describe and give examples of characteristics of someone who helps others.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Utilize the persuasive power of written or oral communication as an instrument of change in the community, nation or the world.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Build a case for giving, explaining why resources (volunteers and money) are needed.
      2. Benchmark HS.5 Distribute private funds as a grantmaking committee.
    3. Standard VS 05. Integrating the Service Experience into Learning
      1. Benchmark HS.2 Evaluate progress on the service-learning project before, during, and after the project.