The first time a kid gets to sell cookie dough or raffle tickets for a
good cause, it is undeniably thrilling to help fund something they believe
to be important. After that the poor kids are tainted -- either by parental
groans, cheap incentive gifts or the realization that soliciting is hard work.
By high school, new motivations for community philanthropy and service
projects include social fun, competitive challenges and resume building.
However, something interesting happens on the cusp of adulthood if a teen
discovers a cause close to their heart. Gratitude inevitably swells with
new knowledge of those in need and career aspirations suddenly include
opportunities to “make a difference” rather than just make money.
Many local businesses host high school interns to learn a craft, gain life
skills and broaden application of classroom education. I have been honored
to have several interns work with me at the Daly Hospital Foundation and
it has been helpful, but also very gratifying to see bright minds enliven
a heavy project with enthusiasm and new-found personal purpose.