As we all begin to look at our busy fall calendars, we would like to encourage all high school aged students to consider getting involved in one very important local organization -- The New Canaan Community Foundation's Young Philanthropist Fund. We know that school, sports and other activities take up a lot of time each week, but this organization -- YPF -- meets only once a month during the school year and it's worth making the time. Here's what YPF is and why it's worthwhile.
The New Canaan Community Foundation's Young Philanthropists are a small group of students who learn hands-on lessons about local charities and their philanthropy work. Students meet each month at a different nonprofit location where speakers describe their organizations and the work they do.
Students involved with this program learn what a grant is, how to write one and then solicit grants based upon a giving theme of their choosing. Last year, the group focused its efforts on providing services to the elderly, then organized and promoted two fundraising efforts to raise money and awareness to support their cause.
The YPF kids work together to decide which grant requests to fund and how much to give to each organization that fits their theme. In 2013, for instance, students heard 19 grant requests for more than $40,000 and awarded $18,500 in funding to 10 organizations. The best part of the experience comes in May, when YPF students personally award grant recipients with their checks and see firsthand how rewarded they feel by their philanthropy work.
Our family feels privileged by our continued involvement with YPF. We would like to thank the New Canaan Community Foundation for devoting the time and resources to this educational gift that gives kids the tools to learn about themselves and how to make a difference in the lives of others. We encourage you to find the time to get involved with YPF.
For more information, call the New Canaan Community Foundation at 203-966-0231 or visit www.newcanaancf.org.
Laura and John Barker