Denver Urban Ministry
Kids can do amazing things!
Kids of all ages can be extremely generous and have helped to create tremendous change across Colorado and the world. There are many established programs that help kids find their inner philanthropist - so we are going to share some of those programs and offer a few new ideas of our own to help kids get more involved.
You would be amazed at the things kids your age have done that have helped people, animals and communities. Kids have made a HUGE impact on the lives of others in Colorado and across the world. You can, too. Kids have lots of energy, lots of friends to help, lots of intelligence and lots of POWER. Use yours to make a difference.
Think about the issues that you want to do something about and start making a plan for how you can help. Get your friends involved. Ask your family to pitch in. Bring your school, church group or clubs on board. A lot of people giving just a little bit can make big, big changes.
Unlike younger kids, people in the community are starting to really listen to you. If you develop a plan and explain the details of why you think it will work, people will pay attention – and hopefully – help you with your special cause. Even the news stations may want to hear about your project and the progress you are making. Don’t sell yourself short; if you start to impact a problem in the community (even the world) it will be news worthy!
Read about these groups and special projects that focus their energy to help others and see if any of them appeal to you.
Middle School Kids
Many middle school kids in Colorado have participated in Young Ameritown actitivities by now. Part of learning how to use your money wisely is learning how to contribute a certain percentage to one or more charities of your choice. You have also probably already helped to raise money for your school or club at least once by now.
You also have learned about the needs of people, and conditions in your community that need attention. You have learned that you have the power to use your mind and your money to make really positive changes in the world!
There are some really cool programs around Colorado and the country that help kids get more involved. One of them is run through the Young Philanthropists Foundation. Their Penny Harvest program asks kids to collect spare change, from parents, friends, and community members to support a cause in the community. You could do that! If you talked with your friends to see what problems they really cared about in the world, perhaps you could use the Penny Harvest program to help resolve the problem. Check that programs and others out at the website for Young Philanthropists Foundation.
There is a really fun computer game for kids, from second to fifth grade, that is all about giving. The League offers this game with Phil Ant, called "Giving and Me."
For more fun games and activities that you can download, click on Activities.
We all want our children to grow up to care about others and to play a meaningful role in making our communities a better place to be. It’s not always easy, however, to know if the things we are doing are going to help shape our kids in that way. We suggest that it is never too early – and never too late - to start trying to build these values in your children.
So, want to share some information about programs already established for this purpose, and then a few ideas of our own, for you to consider.
Here are some tips, developed in partnership with The Denver Foundation, on family philanthropy.
The Minnesota Council on Foundations has established some very exciting programs to teach young people about giving and volunteering. They include ideas for youth foundations, giving programs, and national and local volunteering. Grouped within the Minnesota Tool Kit for Giving, are examples and ideas to help you engage the youth in your life.
The Council of Michigan Foundations and a Steering Committee of thirteen collaborating leaders in education, volunteerism, and nonprofit leadership have successfully completed a unique effort to write, field test, implement and disseminate high quality K-12 curriculum lessons, units and materials on philanthropy. Nurtured and piloted in Michigan, Learning to Give merged with The LEAGUE for a national and international infusion of this academic content into the core curriculum of schools. The organization, now based in New Jersey, offers curriculum, games and activities to get kids involved in both giving and volunteering. The League has lots of information and resources online for you to use.