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Young AmeriTowne provides students with real-life experience in spending, saving, and sharing their money. This learning was reinforced with four different presentations in the last two weeks, where students donated real dollars to Colorado nonprofits.
As part of the curriculum delivered at school, students learn about what philanthropy is and why it is important. They learn that philanthropy helps provide needed services to communities, and that nonprofits rely on philanthropy to function. Then, students think about how they could donate their time, talent, or treasure to help their family, their community, or their school.
When they arrive at Young AmeriTowne, students have a chance to put their learning into action at the Donation Station. They can donate a portion of their paycheck, and businesses can donate a portion of their profits to one of six (or three, in On the Road) Colorado nonprofits. These AmeriTowne dollar donations are matched and turned into real donations by one of three Colorado foundations:
- Community First Foundation – Young AmeriTowne Belmar
- OtterCares Foundation – Young AmeriTowne On the Road
- Schlessman Family Foundation – Young AmeriTowne Denver
The 2017-18 school year has been the most generous to date. In total, students donated $161,489.82 this year–that’s nearly $5.00 a student!
Each Towne held its own philanthropy presentation where the Community Relations Director and/or the Mayor presented checks to the nonprofit beneficiaries of the AmeriTowne donations. This event is meaningful for both the students, who see the impact of their donations in person, and the recipients. Juliana Fajardo, Development and Marketing Coordinator at Think 360 Arts for Learning was one of the recipients of Young AmeriTowne donations at Belmar. She writes, “We are so grateful to have received support through the AmeriTowne program! It was great to see the space and the students so engaged in their roles in Towne. At Think 360 Arts we hope to help our students feel a part of the community and have a voice and it’s wonderful to see other organizations doing great work to help them achieve this as well.”
Young Americans Founder Bill Daniels suggested, “Imagine a world where people give of themselves simply because they want to. Not out of a sense of debt. Or because they want something in return. No ulterior motives. No feelings of guilt. Just the desire to give for the sake of giving. Now, instead of imagining this kind of world, do your part in making it happen.” Youth participating in Young AmeriTowne truly are doing their part to make this dream a reality.