From the start of this unit, I thought it was really nice that we were being given the opportunity to give back to our community in whatever way we wanted. I’d already been familiar with volunteer work as I’d been a teen mentor my past 4 years at Millburn High School and I’d loved every second of it. From the start, I knew that philanthropy would mean more to me than a good grade. I think non profit work is one of the last good things humans have left because its something we do out of the kindness of our hearts, for others without expecting anything in return. What you do get in return, is the satisfaction of knowing you’ve made someone’s life a little easier in one way or another. I learned that the fundraising process is a lot harder than I realized. It requires long term planning, and it’s not something you can just figure out overnight.  I definitely plan on continuing my work with non profits during my next four years at Drew University, in their Civic Engagement Program. The program they offer at Drew will inhibit me to continue making a difference in the world through volunteer work alongside other students who have the same passion for helping others as much as I do. I look forward to whatever lessons Mr. B will teach us in the second semester and how those lessons may also transcend the classroom.


What impressed me most about the panel was how well organized and professional it was. I was proud of my team for pulling in half of the people on the panel, and all three of the representatives we pulled genuinely interested me with everything they had to tell us about their organizations. It was hard to get in all the questions we wanted to with the limited amount of time we had, but I thought we managed to ask a lot of good questions. It’s gonna be hard to choose which charity we want to help fundraise for, but no matter which non profit we chose to help out at least we know it’s going to a noble cause. I’m excited to start really applying myself with the fundraising this month.


This week we started making phone calls to the non profits that interested us. I thought my group did a great job with the task as most of the responses we got were very enthusiastic. So far we’ve secured the Community Food Bank to come in on one of our panel discussion dates. I think the chances of us also securing Summit Speech Center and Battered Women’s Shelter are definitely high. Though making phone calls to strangers appeared as a daunting task for some of us, I thought we all were very professional when reaching out to the organizations and got our message out very clearly to everyone we called. The organizations we’ve chosen deeply interest me and I am excited to learn about them in more detail at the panel discussions. Each of the charities relates to our shared passion of “Women and Children”. This week has been very successful for Reese’s Gang. Overall I’m excited to see how the panel goes down this Monday and Tuesday.   


The brown paper bag exercise was fun because it was fairly simple and to the point; bring in 3 items that most accurately show who you are. The first things that came to mind for me were cheerleading, reading, and listening to music. I’ve been cheerleading for two years now at MHS and it truly is one of the best experiences for me and one of the closest teams I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing/being apart of. Then I’ve been reading books like crazy since I was in middle school and discovered reading can be fun when you read about what you’re interested in. And last I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed listening to music and going to lots of concerts with my friends. I think we did this activity to help us better figure out which charity we would be most passionate about and should start to research. I think the activity was most definitely fitting for the unit.


During the MAD card exercise I experienced the difficulty of choosing which social issues I’m most passionate about. Picking 6 cards out of 20 wasn’t the easiest task but in the end it got done. Something I learned about myself during the exercise was that I don’t know much about philanthropy, but I am excited to learn more. I like that Philanthropy is non profit work and I hope my help with main street philanthropy will inspire others to do more out of the good of their hearts. Something I learned about others is that most of us can agree we want to do all that we can to make the world a better place, but there’s definitely some struggle on figuring out what the path is to us getting there. Overall I have high expectations for our philanthropy unit in class and I hope that I can make positive change in the world by giving back to those who really need it.