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Local elementary school students get a lesson in giving

Grade 6 students at Brant Avenue Public School use the Guelph-based Givesome app to make charitable donations

Students at Brant Avenue Public School got a chance to learn a life lesson on giving to others on Tuesday.

Two classes of Grade 6 students each got to give a small amount of money to a variety of charities through the Guelph-based app Givesome.

It’s a new avenue being taken by Givesome to help create a culture of giving and use giving as a learning tool.

“Sometimes kids don’t have the opportunity to give to other people,” Brant Avenue principal Mike Anderson told the students in explaining the concept. “Today you get to help other people. You get to be generous.”

Givesome co-founder Jay Whitelaw was on hand for Tuesday’s event.

“Today they get to learn about generosity, decide on their own what they want to give to, then in a few weeks they get to see what they did tangibly when that video comes back. I think that’s when it’s really going to come to life for them,” said Whitelaw.

He said the company’s vision statement is “everybody giving.”

One way to achieve that goal is to convince older people who haven’t given before to give.

“Another way to attack that vision is to start to educate the younger generation who have different interests in giving and who have been shown to give differently than their parents,” Whitelaw said.

“This is an opportunity to begin to focus on schools, get into classrooms and create an easy tool for the teachers to do something as part of their curriculum.”

Givesome is a free app that allows those who download it to donate to certified Canadian charities and a number of specific projects those charities are raising funds for.

You can donate $2, $5 or $10 to a specific project of your choosing and will then receive updates of the project sent to your profile, including photos and videos.

Essentially you follow the charitable project’s progress and see the results.

Students at Brant Avenue on Tuesday heard about a variety of available charities: from one that helps buy furniture for new Canadians to one that provides a babysitting course and another aimed at anti-bullying initiatives.

Students then each got to choose where they wanted their $2 donation to go.

AMJ Campbell moving donated the donated money, another relationship that Givesome wants to cultivate: businesses providing the donations for students to use and learn from.

Whitelaw said one of the benefits for students is that they will eventually see videos from the charitable organizations they donated to showing how their donation was used.

It connects them with the process and shows them it actually helps create something positive when you give.

Brant avenue students Keira So and Pushpita Kabir said it was a feel good moment.

“It made me feel good in the heart, that I did something good,” Kabir said.

So said that they don’t think about giving much because they don’t have much to give, but it’s nice to be able to give a little.


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Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 30 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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