Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Quarters and Camp: A Story In Philanthropy

"What's campaign?" Brandon asked when he heard me talking at the YMCA, where he attends an after school program. We told Brandon about how the Strong Kids Campaign raises money to send kids to summer camp. Brandon asked how he could help. We suggested that instead of using quarters for the gumball machine that he donate that quarter. We asked him to imagine what could happen if every child in the program did that for a week.

The next day Brandon proudly handed me two quarters. I was so touched that he would give his money to help other kids that I told him I would match any donations from he & his friends. Other staff said that they would also match the donations. So we decorated a donation box and set it in the office.

You can imagine what happened next. Kids began to bring in their own money to help send a kid to camp. Dakota proudly brought in his two quarters. Alyssa went out to her dad's car to get spare change for the box. Dante and Ethan both brought in dimes, nickels and pennies. Sam brought in a $10 bill. Ryan, Danielle, Kai and Drake asked their mom if they could donate the spare change from the bottom of her purse. Trey talked to his mom and brought in his Tooth Fairy money. Our kids were so proud to give money to something that they know and love - Day Camp. They want other kids to have the same opportunities they have had.

When everyone sat in a circle to pass the box around, we could feel how heavy it had become. We opened the box and counted the money, which totaled an astounding $50. We are still getting pledges for donations, and Sam has raised over $1000. He is very proud. Because of what Brandon started, these children are helping to send other kids to camp this summer. They all truly gave from their hearts.

Laura Hailey-Butler, Sam’s proud Mom