Young Philanthropists Give Back to Community

They were mentored by Thornapple Kellogg High School students who are members of the Youth Advisory Council of the Barry Community Foundation. Together, they discussed what philanthropy means and different organizations within the community that rely on help from others. In total, Page fifth graders donated $382.51 to six different organizations. 

“I’m so excited to be here,” said TKHS student and YAC member Mia Dickman. “This is a great day. You’ve all been learning about giving of your time, talents and treasures and today you’ll present your checks.”

All the students gathered in the Page cafeteria where representatives from each class came forward with a large paper check to present to the organization their class selected. The checks were signed by all the class members.

During the Circle of Giving program, students learned about many local charities and organizations that help people within the community. Each class voted on one organization to help.

Students brought in loose change, a portion of their weekly allowance, or picked up extra chores at home to earn more money to donate. There was no contest to see who could donate the most, just an opportunity to help in whatever way possible and learn about philanthropy. Students said they liked the feeling of helping others.

“For me this was about giving back but also raising the next generation of YACers and teaching them ways to give back. They love learning about what they can do and how they can get involved. They gave a lot of great effort into donations and in choosing their charities,” said TKHS senior Zoey Ziny.

Jillian Foster with the Barry Community Foundations she is thrilled with the program and how it teaches younger students how they can be philanthropists. “It’s important for them to know that giving back is more than just about giving money and that it doesn’t matter how much you have to give. Everybody has the opportunity to give back no matter what stage of life they are in.”

The organizations selected by the classrooms were Green Gables Haven, Family Promise, Substance Abuse Task Force, 4-H, Habitat for Humanity and Joseph’s Genetic Journey.