Week 8

This week we chose which organization to donate our funds to. We had two top contenders, and decided to vote between these top 2; which group did each person individually think was most deserving/needing of the money and why. In the end, we decided to donate all that we had earned towards the Canoe Creek Animal Shelter; we had raised over $100 for them, which was very exciting!

I enjoyed working in the group. I am a very social person, so I enjoyed being able to talk to others who had a similar passion to my own, regarding animals. The only thing that I didn’t like was when my personal opinions would be overrules by everyone else having a different view, but that is life. When we disagreed, I would state my point and back it up with why I believed what I did, but in the end, I didn’t push my views onto anyone, for that would accomplish nothing good.

I was, however, quite sad to find out that we would be unable to hand deliver the checks to the organizations, going out on the ‘field trip’ and visiting each group individually. I am happy, however, that we can still be there to give them the checks, by instead having a representative of each group come to the school to receive the money.

Week 7

I decided to interview my dad for the personal interview. I knew a lot about him before, but also knew that he had been through a lot in his lifetime, and so would have some interesting and/or meaningful stories to share with me. First, I learned that where he grew up, which is inner-city Detroit, was nothing back then like how everyone pictures it; it was extremely based around the community, family, and church groups. I also did not know that he was a part of Red Cross, helping people get through three different natural disasters. And I really did not know, or maybe just never realized, how drastically he changed, how quickly he was forced to grow up, when his mom passed away of cancer when my dad was only 10. This interview made me realize that I want to be like my dad. I wanna live the way he lives his life, known as someone who was real, not wearing a mask, not a fake. He truly “walked the walk” not just “talked the talk”.

Week 3

I found it quite easy to decide on a purpose and mission statement for our group. We all had similar views and ideas on the subject of animal welfare, and how we wanted to best help the animals however possible. The most difficult thing was narrowing down the topics from like all animals to more domestic animals, which was easier to find local groups to donate towards.

I was a bit nervous about making the phonecalls, even though I enjoy talking to people. I didn’t want to have to repeat myself to a ton of people before finally getting to talk to the one person I really needed to speak to. I was hoping that there would be no lack of response and that communication would go smoothly. I also knew that it was possible for people to be rude and snobby, but was hoping not to encounter any of those.

Week 2

I learned alot about myself as well as my teammates through the brown paper bag project. As I was trying to pick my three items, I realized that the choice was actually harder than i would have originally thought. It all depended on the level of trust with the people you were sharing with, on what you individually wanted to reveal about who you were. I learned that Emily C is extremely committed to Leadership, viewing us almost as a second family of sorts. Allie is a total goofball, who makes the best out of every situation, including the times that she procrastinates and forgets. And Taylor S is not only a huge animal lover, but also has been cheerleading for a long time, since she was young. We all decided that our fundraiser to raise the money was going to be through multiple bake sales in teachers, primarily Mrs Ashcraft’s, classrooms.

Week 6

I really enjoyed the non-profit panels that we did, especially the one on Thursday. I think it was better with more groups to ask questions towards, since on Tuesday with only the two it seemed a bit awkward. However, I learned that the questions asked really mattered when deciding which group/profit to donate towards. When we asked them some questions that were more difficult, not just easy statistics that they may know off the top of their heads, they had to really stop and think before answering, which showed how much they each cared about their organization, and whether they were dedicated to it fully. My team’s fundraising is going slower than I had expected it to, but hopefully it will pick up since we will be doing another bakesale on Thursday. I am definitely learning that patience is key when it comes to raising money; it doesn’t just all come at once, even though that’s how we may want it.

Week 5

A) I’m learning that there are more than one way to evaluate a company, although some are more affective than others. One way is to look at their tax returns, or their 990 form, but these are not necessarily the best option. They can be lied on, with numbers being fudged to appear bigger or smaller, and making the organization look better than they really are. However, I think an effective way is getting to talk to a representative one on one, because you can see their honest reaction to your questions, that they couldn’t have prepared responses to ahead of time.

B) I find that it is a bit difficult to evaluate non-profit organizations. They aren’t as easy to get in touch with as I had thought, so getting information out of them is kind of difficult. Plus, I might really like someone in person, but their organization might have a bad 990, or bad ratings, or vice versa; their form might look great but the person you talk to is rude, unknowledgeable, etc.

Week 4

I learned that my organization is not only an equine rescue. It also rescues rabbits, guinea pigs, pigs, goats. etc. Witts End also rehomes some of the animals that it rescues for cheap adoption fees, although some of the animals are permanent residents for one reason or another. I have not yet looked at it’s 990 form, although I looked it up but was unable to find one, so I messaged the owner and she told me she would email me the form as soon as she go the chance, so I’ll take a look at it soon, hopefully.

It is definitely very important to look at the 990 forms before each group chooses an organization to donate to. It will show us where the money that we raise and donate goes to; is it being put to good use to help the animals that need it, or is it just being used to pay the employees; just one example of the possibilities. It can also help us figure out whether or not the organization has the current funds, or on average has the funds, to keep itself going for a long or short amount of time.

Week 1

The MAD Card experience was unexpected for me. I knew that Mr. Farnsworth was going to be with our class on Thursday, but I figured he’d just be explaining about the Main Street Philanthropy Program; I had no idea that we’d actually be jumping right in. When we were given the MAD Cards, it was relatively easy for me to pick my top six. However, when we had to narrow it down to three, I had difficulty. I could narrow it to four cards, but was having trouble picking which one to put back. I knew that I have a passion for both Animals and Children, so it was easy for me to know that those cards were in my top three, however I was having trouble deciding between the Elderly and Veterans as my third card. I felt like it was my responsibility to pick the Elderly, since my grandfather is going through a lot of medical problems right now, but for some reason, the Veterans card was just sticking to me. My father was in the military, as well as my grandfather and many other members of my family. I’ve seen/heard of the struggles when coming back from war and trying to get used to daily life again, and felt a tugging on my heart to help those veterans; and so that was the third card I picked.

I’m definitely looking forward to participating in the Main Street Philanthropy Program. I love being able to help others, and so I am very excited to be able to give back and make an impact on different organizations that need it. I hope to gain a better understanding of just how important community service work is to bettering the world that we live in, for there is nothing better to do that than through hands on experience.