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Philanthropy is a central concept to Young Americans. Bill Daniels, the founder of Young Americans Bank, established Daniels Fund, one of the largest foundations in the Rocky Mountain region. As a nonprofit, Young Americans Center for Financial Education relies on community support to deliver its hands-on financial literacy programs. Philanthropy plays a large role in the Young AmeriTowne program, too, and a valuable partner in this work is Community First Foundation.
According to its website, Community First Foundation was founded in 1975 as Lutheran Medical Center Foundation. The name has changed over the years, but the mission to “increase generosity and power community for positive change” remains the same, with a particular focus on the Jefferson County community.
When Young AmeriTowne at Belmar opened in 2005, Community First Foundation jumped on board as sponsor of the AmeriTowne Donation Station. Through the Donation Station, students have the opportunity to donate their individual or business profits to real Denver Metro nonprofits, as Community First Foundation matches each student donation at 10%–up to $3,000. In the 2016-17 school year, students donated $83,966.10 AmeriTowne dollars.
Another way that Community First Foundation encourages youth philanthropy is through KidsforColoradoGives.org. Designed for youth and their families to, “inspire the next generation of givers,” Kids for Colorado Gives is a trusted environment that makes giving fun. With the help of an adult, young people can search for causes that are important to them, and then they can use giving e-cards, purchased by adults, to make a donation.
Allowing students to experience the power of philanthropy “first-hand” means the future of community giving is bright. Young Americans is grateful for the support of Community First Foundation in this work!