Imagine being a youth and having several thousands of dollars to give to local non-profit agencies. You have to arrange site visits to these various charitable organizations that benefit those in our community (animals included!), and distribute this money, based on their needs.
That’s what Youth in Philanthropy is all about – an amazing initiative of The Winnipeg Foundation for high school students in Winnipeg. Each year, participating groups are given $5000 and after visiting a number of charities, donate the money according to the needs identified.
At St. Mary’s Academy (SMA), we discovered that YiP is not only a club, but an opportunity to contribute to making positive change in Winnipeg by giving back. Fortunately, our dedicated group of Yippers was able to donate to all seven organizations we visited.
Our first spark of inspiration was at the annual YiP fall conference, an insightful event enjoyed by all. It was here that our group decided to participate in the RaY (Resource Assistance for Youth) walk – Coldest Night of the Year – a way to put the reality of homelessness among youth into perspective and a chance to raise awareness.
A bake sale was held to raise funds, and six of us walked. Despite accidentally taking the 10 km route, it was a wonderful and spirited team building event, and we are proud to be trailblazers for our school by supporting RaY.
Our final project as a group is sewing items for The Children’s Hospital.
Making a difference is challenging, but through collaboration of ideas and willingness, it is possible. YiP has taught us the value of giving, and encouraged us to be open minded, motivated and ready to learn. But, most of all, it has shown all of us that a spark of interest is enough to start a fire of change.
All photos supplied by St.Mary’s Academy