Giving at School - How Giving Connects

Would there be enough? I stood sweating behind the heated Chick-fil-A sandwich box, tasked with providing food for everyone. I had been asked last-minute, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Did these children belong to the event? Or were they just here for free food? Could I allow this, or would we end up short? This dinner marked the start of the school event at Wright Christian Academy, a private school in Tulsa.

This school event was the highlight. The auditorium was packed with children who had brought their whole families, including grandparents. They sat at round tables, and there was hardly any space to move. The children were dressed in their best clothes, and the air buzzed with excitement. “My child has been talking about it for weeks,” a mother later explained. They had to be here.

The children from grades six and seven had worked hard on a wonderful project. It began with visits from six different local charities, each presenting a challenge to the students. The students were divided into six groups, and each group was tasked with finding a solution to a problem presented by the charity. And today, they could finally present their solutions to the charities and their families.

After dinner, it was time. One by one, the groups took the stage. Each group had come up with its own name and presented themselves based on their superpowers, ranging from ‘being kind’ to ‘dog whisperer,’ and it was wonderfully endearing. Then they talked about the problem and the solution they had devised. 

They had created anonymous websites to support children with parents in prison, recipes and shopping lists to buy food for needy families, neighborhood bookshelves to make reading more accessible, QR codes to easily find volunteers to mentor young adults, and community gardens to foster a sense of community. Each presentation ended with a request to support their cause and donate to the project by the end of the evening.

After each presentation, there was thunderous applause, and the charities had the opportunity to respond. There were even in-depth questions asked. The charities were impressed, and both parents and children beamed with pride.

Once everyone had presented, it was time to give. Each family had received free donation money on the Givt4Kids app, thanks to generous donations from some benefactors in Tulsa. They could now distribute this money among the different projects as they saw fit, with their children. The children rushed forward again, crowding around the bowl of Givt coins and eagerly dividing them. It was like the buzzing of a beehive. As the children wove through the crowd to drop their Givt coins into the collection box for their chosen charity, many parents engaged in conversations with the various charities.

After sweating at the Chick-Fil-A stand, I had gotten cold sitting in the stands. The air conditioning was blowing on my neck, and I had momentarily lost sight of my children in the crowd. When a slight sense of panic overtook me, I thankfully spotted my son again. After the presentations, he had given high-fives to all the children, clearly enjoying his small role in the event. But now, he had retreated somewhere among the seats at the top of the stands. I breathed a sigh of relief. It was time to go home.

Our first Giving-Unites event. It was a success.

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