Young philanthropists give back to the community

Courtesy photo
THE YOUNG PHILANTHROPISTS at Coal City High School handed out $5,000 in asistance to non-profit organizations making a difference in their community. The Coal City Backpack Program represented by Cherie Sieger [right] was presented $3,750 to provide supplemental food to students within the Unit 1 School District. Representing the school were philanthropists [from left]: Giselle Guerrero and Adaline Dowling.

Students from across Grundy County are learning what it means to give back through the Community Foundation of Grundy County’s Young Philanthropy program.

The program, overseen by program director Devan Gagliardo, promotes youth development, encourages programs and services that address concerns of our youth, exposes youth to the organizations serving their communities, and builds a future of strong community leaders and philanthropists.

The Young Philanthropy program is active at four high schools—Coal City, Gardner-South Wilmington, Seneca and Morris.

Each year, the Community Foundation of Grundy County allocates funds for the youth to grant to non-profit organizations serving Grundy County. Since 2015 the young philanthropists have provided over $90,000 to 45 unique organizations, all of whom are serving the residents of Grundy County.

After a two-year break, the Community Foundation of Grundy County was once again able to hold its awards banquet, an event that serves to honor both the young philanthropists and the organizations they awarded with grant funding.

Each school group was granted $5,000 to assist the non-profits of their choice.

Coal City’s group of young philanthropists awarded $3,750 to the Coal City Backpack Program to assist in providing supplemental food to students within the Unit 1 School District.

Additionally, the students provided $1,250 to Grundy Area PADS for services in Grundy County.

PADS also received $1,000 from student philanthropists at GSW. The also provided financial assistance to Grundy County Veterans Assistance Commission, Guardian Angel Community Service, Catholic Charities and the GSW Student Assistance Fund to help students at GSW with unmet needs.

Morris High School’s funding went to assist the U of I Extension/4-H, Grundy County Problem Solving Courts, WeCare of Grundy County and Grundy County Health Department for mental health therapy

And, Seneca High School students provided support to the county health department, Illinois Valley Industries and CASA of River Valley to support children in Grundy County.

“The Youth Philanthropy Program could not happen without the help of others. I am so very thankful to the students and school personnel who continue to see the benefit in this program as well as the local organizations who take the time to present to our students,” Gagliardo said.