Week 5

This week we learned about the different ways to judge an organization. We were able to receive the 990 forms of Hands Together, an educational institution for Haitians in Palm Beach County run by Mrs. Anderson, Monica’s mom. While reviewing the form, Hands Together scored a 12/15. Our group was very happy with the score, but it would have been even higher if it weren’t for it’s low sustainability. However, we realized that their sustainability is low because most of their money comes from donors. As long as the organization knows that they will always have a consistent amount of donors, we are not worried about their sustainability. We learned that a foundation should not only be judged by calculated quantities, but also qualitative characteristics such as leadership and communication skills. I believe that qualitative characteristics are just as important as quantitative values, if not more important. Our group is happy with the idea of donating the money we raise to Hands Together, but we are still exploring others. I think we are going to do the car wash at the Ale House this weekend. Ale House has already approved of this, we just need to make sure we have all the supplies we need. I talked to my parents about the charities they donate to. They said that they actually donate a lot through the Benjamin School. For example, our school has many food, clothes, and toy drives for organizations like Toys for Tots. In addition, every year at Christmas time, we ┬áparticipate in Adopt a Family and choose a family to buy holiday gifts for. It is interesting to see that my parents learned of most of the charities they donate to from the school. This leads me to think that maybe our group should try to also raise money through the school.

Week 2

This week, we were split into groups based on our interests. I was put into the Educational Institutions group, which I am very happy about. Monica, JT, Nick, and Nicole are in my group. We each brought in three items that describes ourselves. I brought in a shell, since I have lived in Florida my entire life and I love the beach, a stuffed dog, because I am a dog-lover, and a polaroid picture, because I love photography. This exercise gave us the opportunity to get to know each other a little better. I learned that JT is patriotic and loves baseball and other hands-on activities. Nicole loves theater, she grew up in Miami, and she is very close with her grandpa. Nick likes listening to music,his favorite food is rice, and he has also lived in Florida is entire life. Monica loves watching TV and her favorite food is chocolate. When hearing that we need to raise $300, we were all really inspired. Our group decided that we would definitely try to raise even more. Nicole’s dad is involved with the Ale House so we brainstormed how that could be useful for us. My mom sells jewelry at different trunk shows all over the area so we also talked about how we could use those places to sell something of our own, maybe a bake sale. In addition to brainstorming ways in which we can raise money, we also brainstormed a team name. JT thought of naming it something with “owls”, since owls are a sign of education. We also thought of the name “Students To Students,” since we are students working to raise money and help other students. A very interesting guest speaker came and spoke to us. He is an art collector. He inspired us to strategize and collect something of our own. He taught us that in order to be effective, we need to have a purpose for our collection. This week taught me a lot. I am very happy that we are able to work in a field that we chose. It’s very exciting knowing that we will raise $300 or more on our own to benefit a cause we are all interested in.

Week 1

This first class really broadened my horizon in what I knew about philanthropy and giving back to the community. Through the MAD cards, I was able to learn about and explore all different charitable areas. I had never realized how many types of philanthropic organizations there are until I had an entire stack of cards in my hands. I did not find it too difficult to choose six topics I was most interested in it, but then limiting those six down to just three was a very difficult task for me. However, I was finally able to decide on the topics of Educational Institutions, Housing, and Hospitals and Medicare. The descriptions on the back of the cards helped me to do so. I chose Educational Institutions because during the past two summers, I volunteered at the Benjamin School Summer Institute Program. This is a free summer school for less economically fortunate students in the community that would like extra education. I was actually given the opportunity to teach the reading class. As a student myself, I was able to relate to these students just a few years younger than I. One day, one of the girls looked up at me and said “I have learned more these past few weeks than I have my entire elementary school career.” That had a great impact on my decision. Next, I picked housing because of what I experienced in New York City. As I was walking around shopping with my mom and my sister, there were many homeless people sitting on the ground begging for anything they could get. This really opened my eyes because while my sister and I were shopping for clothes, these people were asking for nothing but a meal. Finally, I chose hospitals and medicare because of the experiences I’ve had as a child of a doctor. Once, when my dad took me to the hospital with him, I spent some time with a little girl with cancer. Just talking with her seemed to brighten her day. This is when I realized how an action as small as talking to a patient can help. This first week taught me more than I would have ever imagined