Belmont secondary students Ariel Gordy

Belmont secondary students practise at philanthropy

Handing over cash is never easy, but when it’s not yours and going to charity, it’s fun.

Handing over cash is never easy, but when it’s not yours and going to charity, it’s fun.

Seven Belmont secondary students are taking a lesson in philanthropy using funds provided by Victoria Foundation.

“We work with students in high school and provide grant money for the organizations. This is very much a grass roots project,” said Marg Rose, director of community initiates and grants with Victoria Foundation. “It’s always interesting to see who the students give the money to.”

The foundation gave the Belmont students $2,500 to donate to a worthy charity and now the seven students need to figure out where it’s going.

“This is wise decision on Victoria Foundation’s part, they are building youth leaders through this,” said teacher Troy Harris. “The students are learning about all the charities in their own backyard and communities.”

For Grade 11 students Alicia and Ariel Gordy and Gabrielle Semail this is a lot of money to give away. They have never had that much money to spend before.

In a similar granting program two years ago the three students tried to provide grant money for The Help Fill a Dream foundation. Their pitch was rejected by their classmates and this year the three figured they’d do their best to get the money to go to the foundation.

“Help Fill a Dream doesn’t just grant dreams, they have a family assistance program and it has a quality of life initiative. If someone is in a wheelchair they will build ramps and help convert their home,” explained Semail.

After interviewing people from Help Fill a Dream several of the students offered to volunteer at community events, said Ariel.

“It wouldn’t surprise me in a few years to see some of these students working for Help Fill a Dream,” said Harris.

Other charities being considered are The Umbrella Foundation, Foundation House and SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre.

 

The teens must present the four charities to the entire leadership class and come to a consensus. Once they’ve made their final decision it is sent to Victoria Foundation where it gets the final OK.