Youth in Philanthropy (YIP) participants from St. Martin de Porres School presented a total of $5,395 to local charities at an outdoor cheque presentation today. The presentation was a reminder that while the word ‘normal’ has shifted for our society, one thing stays true: giving feels good.
“Each year we provide participating schools with $500 for students to create small grants for registered charities,” Erin Peden, Executive Director of the Red Deer & District Community Foundation said. “The concept is to teach students the importance of understanding the social needs within their communities while determining how and where they would like to create impact with their grant.”
Youth in Philanthropy students from St. Martins decided they were looking to create big impact. The three Grade 5 classrooms hosted an online art auction, raising an additional $1,575 for their chosen charities and were prepared to present the total of $2,075 on Wednesday afternoon.
However, the students were in for a surprise.
The Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Red Deer caught wind of the students’ efforts and decided they, too, would be jumping on the philanthropy train.
“When we heard about this program, we knew we wanted to contribute,” Rene Rondeau, Executive Director of Tourism Red Deer said. “We did the same type of auction last fall when we teamed up with the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce to put on a Bob Ross Painting evening for Team Canada.”
The evening was in effort to entertain the players while they were isolating during the selection camp, but the paintings were of such quality that the duo asked Team Canada to donate them. The paintings were then auctioned, raising over $10,000 for local charities.
Rondeau and Chris Windrim (Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce) surprised the students on Wednesday by adding $3,320 from the Team Canada art auction to the student’s tally.
“We supported YIP because this program is all about creating a ripple effect in our community,” Rondeau said. “Not only do the students learn about working together for a common goal, but they also experience the tough decision-making process on what charity will benefit in the end.”
In total, the Youth in Philanthropy students distributed $5,395 as follows:
Canadian Cancer Society – $1,798.00
Child Advocacy Centre – $1,798.00
Saving Grace Animal Society – $1,798.00
“The power of this program is so significant,” Shawn Hamm, RDDCF Board Chair said. “As Erin explained to the students today, philanthropy is contagious. When our youth act with kindness and concern, our community responds with more kindness and concern. This is at the heart of what we do as a Foundation; we provide the opportunity to collectively care for our community through the act of philanthropy.”
Youth in Philanthropy students gain education in the value of philanthropy through grant-making and develop relationships with individuals throughout the charitable and volunteer sector. They learn the importance of social awareness, partnerships, and personal responsibility.