This is the time of year we all start cleaning out our closets, emptying our wallets, and finding a place to volunteer and give back. It’s also the perfect time to highlight the newest program of Young Americans Center for Financial Education: Spark Change!
Spark Change teaches students the importance of giving back and helping out their community. Over the course of a school year, students collect as much change as they can to complete a service project with a nonprofit they feel is truly making a difference in their community. These students learn pretty quickly that a few pennies here and there really do add up in the end. Last year, students in the Spark Change program donated $56,224.04!
Now I know what you’re thinking, “Yeah this all sounds great being able to help out our community and give back, but can I really make a difference in the world of many? Why should I even take time to help someone else? To show kindness to someone else?”
Think of it this way. According to guidestar.org, there are approximately 1.8 million charitable nonprofits in this country, and more than 31,000 of those reside here in Colorado. The majority of these nonprofits rely heavily on volunteers and donations in order to complete their mission, particularly around this time of year.
If people stopped giving and volunteering, our society would look completely different. Just think about it. Who would help feed the hungry? Who would help the homeless find shelter or jobs? Who would provide distraction kits to children who have been in and out of the hospital due to cancer? What would happen to those students who received a backpack full of school supplies at the beginning of every school year because their family can’t afford it?
All it takes is one person to step up and help where help is needed. As soon as one person steps up, five others may soon follow and five more may follow each of those five. Next thing you know, thousands of people have stepped forward to make a difference—all because of you and what you started. It all starts with YOU!
Why not follow the lead of Spark Change students this holiday season? Think about how you can donate your time, talent, and treasure, and then put those thoughts into action!