Healthy communities teach philanthropy young

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.

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