Main Street Philanthropy; Week Seven

As this program comes to a close, I sit and reflect on everything that I have learned. I now hold more knowledge than I ever thought. I not only learned about philanthropy and what it is, the different types of charities, how to see where the money that I am donating goes to, and just a little bit about myself, but I got to experience some life skills such as contacting businesses and real world skills. Although I have learned many things through Main Street Philanthropy, there is one moment that will always stand above the rest in my brain. That moment when you feel the satisfaction and relief of all your handwork throughout the program paying off. When you finally get to hand your check to your charity and you see the pure gratitude come across their face. That heart-warming feeling is when you really know that you are in some way making a difference in your community. You aren’t just some person living on this Earth, but you are a person that is making an impact.

I have always participated in a lot of community service events. Through high school I have done my fair share of community service hours, but only because it was required. By participating in Main Street Philanthropy, it has inspired me to become a more charitable person, not because I have to be, but because I want to be. I am defiantly more likely to give my time and resources to a charity in the future; and I will be able to do it wisely. Just like donating my time and resources makes an impact on the community, Main Street Philanthropy has made an impact on my life. The lessons I’ve learned will always stay with me, making me a more philanthropic person.

Main Street Philanthropy; Week Six

My group helped my choose my organization by asking me questions, making sure it was something I was truly inspired and interested in. Also, we had to make sure it fell under the criteria of our team motto and goals.
Working with a group, rather than on my own, helped a lot in the long run. I always had someone to keep me in check and make sure our goals, views, and mottos matched up with the organizations we were considering. I was also able to be there to do that for someone else. I think that working in groups pushed us to be better, because we were not only help accountable to ourselves but to other people as well. I didn’t want to let my group down and they didn’t want to let me down. We talked to disagreements, and worked them out, finding a common answer that is doable for the entire group. We took each other irrational ideas and made them rational and put them into action. Working as a team is much stronger than working individually.
Next week should be great. We finally get to see all our hard work paying off put into action. Although the program is coming to an end, it is sad to see it go, but it is very rewarding to know that we have accomplished something great in our community.

Main Street Philanthropy; Week Five

In class we were asked to interview someone, whether it be a parent or mentor, it didn’t matter. We had to ask questions such as where they came from and how things were different from today and other philanthropy based questions. I chose to interview my very own mom. I know a lot about my mom and how she grew up, but I never really asked about her philanthropic life. It was actually pretty interesting to learn new things from her. Come to find out, we share many views and ideas about giving and what it is suppose to mean to a person. Although religion based giving was my first choice, we both had medical based giving in common. She strongly supported Relay For Life and other health research foundations which is an area I strongly considered in my elimination process.

All in all, I learned a few things from interviewing my mom. I learned a little more about how she grew up and what giving was like for her. I got to know the similarities and differences between giving in her time and giving in mine. I also learned another person’s perspective on giving and how they chose an area to donate to.

Main Street Philanthropy continues to open new doors for my learning and changing my point of view to charitable work. Learning something new and gaining a better grasp on the impact I am able to make on my community are things I’ve gotten from this program. MSP is still proving to be worthwhile.

Main Street Philanthropy; Week Four

There are more than just one ways to see if a charity is legit other than just looking at their tax records. You may also look at them from a holistic point of view. For example, you can see how they treat their paid staff vs their volunteers, you can see if they have plans for expansion in the future or its just a dead end. Things like this are also make-or-break factors in picking a place to invest money in. I don’t believe one method is more valuable than the other. Both or equally important in their own ways and it would be hard to find an unbiased ground to compare them on. You should use both methods in deciding where to invest money.

I find that when evaluating multiple non-profit organizations against each other it is hard to pick only one. I know that they are all good causes and only want the greater good for their cause. Each cause is important in their own way and has their own impacts. While comparing the tax records may be easy because that is just a number, comparing their qualities is a whole other story. Some may be incomparable.

Main Street Philanthropy; Week Three

The organization I chose to donate to is a church based organization called World Hope. I was inspired to donate to them because of what they stand for and the ways they convey their vision. Their vision is to bring God’s love to those who are less fortunate than we are. They take mission trips to various regions of the world included Kenya, Detroit, and Haiti. I found out about this organization through a personal friend of mine; she actually take trips to Kenya bringing sporting equipment to teach the children there how to play various sports we play here. The organization as a whole brings hope and God’s message of love and compassion to those less fortunate by fresh food, clean water, and education.

This week in class, we learned the importance of looking behind the scenes of an organization to make sure the money we are giving is going to the places it should be going and they are using it efficiently. If someone is going to donate to a charity, the money should be used for the cause that the charity is promoting, not used for everything else such as the founder’s paycheck. Through the research of my charity, I have found that it does in fact use the money donated wisely and efficiently. This means this will be a good place to donate to and it will be effective for the cause.

Once again, always learning something new with Main Street Philanthropy.

Main Street Philanthropy; Week Two

A purple W.W.J.D bracelet. An FIU softball poster. A pair of chopstick. These are the three things in my brown bag that describe who I am.¬†The bracelet is important to me because my best friend gave it to me at a hard time, she told me it was suppose to remind me that God and she will always be with me as long as I’m wearing it; that I will never be alone. The FIU softball picture is my future, I have accepted an athletic scholarship to Florida International University to play softball. It has been a dream of mine since I was a little leaguer and I am proud that I have finally achieved it. The chopsticks are my heritage, they make up who I am. I’m a brown haired, hazel eyed half japanese girl. Not that I’m not proud of my mom’s side of the family, but the Asian that comes from my dad makes me unique.

This week in class, we were divided into separate teams according to our interests from the MAD cards. In our groups we did a paper bag activity in which we learned multiple new facts about each other. It was actually quite interesting. We each brought a brown paper bag filled with three items that represented ourselves and the lives we live. Through this activity, we learned many new things about each other and we also learned that we had a few qualities in common. The common denominator through out our group was we all brought in something about our religion that had an impact on our lives. Which would make sense because the common area we chose to help within our groups was religious and spiritual organizations.

In our group we created a purpose and vision statement of what we are comprised of. Coming from a sports family, I’ve learned that if you’re going to do something, you better have a purpose behind it, or else there’s no point in doing it. The purpose of our group is “Portraying His Compassion”. As a religious based group, we decided that it would benefit to work on something that we are all passionate about so a spiritual based purpose seemed to fit perfectly. Our purpose leads us to our vision. Individually we all have different ideas of the vision we want to accomplish in this project. My vision is “I believe my team will impact a single person or a group of people who will then pay it forward to other people. Through our actions, people will see our strong faith and God’s compassion.”With everyone having individual visions, we are able to come together as a team and create a more central and stronger vision.

After all is said and done with team building, we are motivated to finally pick an organization to get involved with. This week we are going to be making calls to the organizations to gather information on them and possibly have them come to class to talk with us about their organization. I expect to have some success this week in contacting my possible charity. We were taught how to approach someone of that position via email and phone call. These are valuable life skills we will always be able to use.

Main Street Philanthropy is more beneficial to me than I originally thought it would be. I anticipate great things to come from program.

Main Street Philanthropy; Week One

Last week at my school, a representative from Main Street Philanthropy came in to talk to my student government class about philanthropic work. It was really quite interesting and I learned more than I thought I would. We did this activity with some Make  Difference Cards to learn things about yourselves and our partners. The object was to weed through many topics of areas of need to find our top three choices of where we would like to help out. I learned that the areas I would like to help out with also relate to the areas that I would like to study and have a profession in; such health research and helping mentally disabled children.

By participating in this program, I hope to gain a stronger sense on how much various charities actually impact our society. Nobody thinks much of a charity case until you are in a time of need and that seems like the only hope. Also, I think this program will show me a little more about myself and my community. Already am I learning about different organizations that intrigue my area of interest that I didn’t even know existed in my community. Any one who has a chance to participate in a program such as Main Street Philanthropy, I strongly encourage it.