Week 8

Our team came to a consensus on which organization we want to donate to. We chose Grace Landing. Albeit they did not have a finished tax form, when they came in to talk to us on the panel, it was very moving and I knew where my heart was set. Not having talked to my other team members yet, I did not even realize we were on the same page without even talking to each other. I love this program because you get what you put in. I realized so many things about myself and others. We have raised more than expected which is a really good thing also! I am super excited to have our final meeting to allocate the money to all of chosen organizations.

Week 3

Our mission statement is to help spread the gospel by helping others. I really enjoyed coming up with the mission statement because as a team we were able to come up with a consensus. Reaching out to organizations was easier than what everyone thinks it is. I personally enjoy talking on the phone with people. Organizations don’t always have the best people on their staff to help donators so we have to tackle through that to see if they are actually worth to allocate your money.

Week 2

My classmates have very distinguished likes and dislikes. I have been in a class with them for more than six months, you would think I knew more about them, but that isn’t the case. I was able to see what they cared about and what their passions were. Our team fundraiser will be a bake sale held whenever someone buys something. Due to the difficulties of the blog and that I am now posting this a couple of weeks late, I have personally raised 25 dollars by selling brownies, cookies, and oreo balls.

Week 7

I interviewed my dad because he has a great influence on my life and the others. My dad has gone through a lot in his life but I like how he views his life. Money has controlled our lives to such an extent in our day that it isn’t the same. He said that although you need money to survive, why let it control your happiness? I really enjoyed talking to my dad because albeit I knew this stuff, he went off into tangents and started talking about different things that he enjoyed and I was able to learn.

Week 6

I really enjoy interviewing the panel. The questions asked by certain people gave it a harder time for the panelist to answer which also showed their values. I personally loved both groups that came out. They answered the presented questions properly and expected most of the answers. I have not discussed with my group yet either about which charity we would like to allocate our money towards but I am torn between the two. Grace Landing and A Place for Grace both have great causes!

Week 5

Evaluations are a very crucial part into figuring out where you are going to allocate your money. You can do this via phone calls, volunteering, and interviews. Volunteering is a very easy way to see how you are treated and you can transpire that unto the patrons. Phone calls are also important because if you are received with a  monotonous speaker who is counting down the seconds to her shift ends, why would you want to donate your money there? Interviews can be scary but it allows for questioning in a safe environment with an atmosphere of nervousness.

Currently it is difficult to evaluate non profit organizations because they do not have their tax forms filled out or you can not find one online. Two out of three organizations did not have tax forms or were very vague. Our last organization is located out in Merritt Island and has an outstanding evaluation. A Place for Grace has a great staff and is operating on a great mission. When I called them, at first I was just getting transferred from person to person until I reached my final destination where we were able to come to a consensus on our interview day. Grace Landing also has an amazing mission and need to help those but did not have a tax form. Although I did not personally call Grace Landing, they are very approachable and I am super excited to find out more in our panels next week.

Week 4

Last year, one of the groups donated to A Place for Grace. We did a tour of the center and it touched my heart to meet and be able enter the facility. This year, A Place for Grace is one of our candidates. We also found Grace Landing. One of my team members found the place because she has worked with it. I am really excited to go through the steps and find out which charity to choose.

It is very important to look at the numbers on tax forms to know how people handle their money and if they donate back to the cause of their charity or do they give all their money to the employees. I was only able to find one tax form for Teen Missions International which send teenagers on mission trips. There organization is completely what their mission statement states. They scored a 13 out of 15 in the booklet which is pretty awesome. The only bad thing was that it takes a dollar to raise a dollar for themselves but they definitely stay true to their word. I think in this group I am in, were looking at religious organizations but we can also see where their faith lands and how much they devote their time to the community and live through God. I have not encountered yet a religious organization that takes all their money for themselves, but it would be a real disappointment to find one.

Week One

Last year I was introduced to this program as a sophomore. Even though I was a year younger, I still learned very valuable things that I will cherish throughout my life. But this year seemed different. As I opened the MAD cards, matter of fact I wasn’t mad, I felt something come over me and I knew this year would be special. I learned that I would like to go on a mission trip. I would also like to help others wanted and feeling the need and spread the gospel to other countries. I learned very special things about people also that I did not know before. Although we sit in the classroom together each day does not mean that I know everyone. My knowledge is actually very limited to my peers around me. While each person spoke out, I learned what mattered most to them: what made them smile, what made them cry, and what made them all warm inside.

There are many things I hope to gain from this program. I loved every step last year and I will love even more this year. I almost took the program for granted last year but now that I have been opened to various experiences, I will definitely cherish it this year. I love to see the smiles of the kids faces, the business owners, the passion from the volunteers, and the moment when you connect with the charity and actually see what they do. It is very sad to see the charities which seem super helpful such as goodwill, but once you look at their tax returns, it is scary how much money is gone through to the CEO’s. I feel this year will be great, an emotional one as I discover new things about myself, but one I get to spend with peers and learn more about them also.