Give to the Max – Mobilize the power of youth

Published on November 15, 2012 | Written by

Leave it to Minnesota to come up with an event tagged as the “great Minnesota give together.” Give to the Max Day is today, Thursday, November 15. Last year, nearly 50,000 donors contributed to their favorite nonprofits on that single Give to the Max Day.

This will be the first Give to the Max Day for Youthprise, and we appreciate the philosophy that Give to the Max Day is not all about an organization’s grand total in fundraising that day, but more about the community we can build around the idea of giving. Every donation counts – no matter how big or how small.

There are so many worthwhile organizations for people to donate to, and just as many ‘requests’ to give. Everyone receives emails, Facebook posts, Tweets urging them, sometimes begging them, to kick in $20 to a friend’s, a colleague’s, your sister’s favorite nonprofit.

We know that many youth-serving organizations are actively fundraising on Give to the Max Day. It’s a wonderful opportunity to raise the visibility and awareness of how youth and our community benefit when young people have opportunities to learn and to lead beyond the regular school classroom.

There are generations of young adults who can thank out-of-school time programs like 4H, afterschool sports and extra-curricular activities, the Boys and Girls Club, their local YMCA or Parks and Rec for helping them to develop life skills like problem solving, communication, creativity, and, just plain getting along with others. Past generations of afterschool programs gave young people the chance to convene, to learn, and to stay out of trouble.

Today’s out-of-school programs focus on engaging young people in rigorous, hands-on, experiential learning opportunities. Parents of young people today encounter different challenges. While middle and high school budgets are strapped, with many schools faced with the decision to discontinue activities from sports to music, nonprofits are rising to the call – developing innovative programming with content that is meaningful and challenging – helping youth to discover their passion for learning beyond the classroom.

As an alumni (or a parent of an alumni) of an out-of-school program, Give to the Max Day is your chance to thank the programs, the nonprofits, the people who helped you to develop and to grow. As I said, every donation counts. The beauty of Give to the Max Day is the collective impact of everyone’s donations. Give. Give to the organization that gave you that leg up, or a fresh start. Kept you interested in school, or introduced you to new interests. Gave you life-long friendships and good memories.

And, consider matching your gift with a gift to Youthprise.

Youthprise is uniquely positioned to impact the current and the next generation’s experience of out-of-school time by supporting other youth-serving organizations to increase the quality, accessibility, sustainability and innovation of opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.

We are focusing our efforts to ensure that all Minnesota youth, especially young people who are traditionally underserved, have access to affordable, quality learning opportunities during out-of-school time.

If you ever spent time in a quality afterschool program yourself, or you appreciate what an out-of-school program gave to your child, give that gift to another young person. Give to the Max.

Lizzy Shramko
Communications Associate
Youthprise
* Proud alumni of Linwood Rec Center in Saint Paul

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