Young Americans Blog

Philanthropy at Young Americans Center

By: Janet Redwine Published: June 1st, 2015

Give. Imagine a world where people give of themselves simply because they want to. Not out of a sense of debt. Or because they want something in return. No ulterior motives. No feelings of guilt. Just the desire to give for the sake of giving. Now, instead of imagining this kind of world, do your part in making it happen. Make a charitable donation. Volunteer your time to improve your community. Give back to the world that gives so much to you. And if it happens to make you feel good to give, that’s all right. Feeling good is the one ulterior motive that’s acceptable. (The Life and Legacy of Bill Daniels, the Daniels Fund, 2012, p. 162)

What is philanthropy?  Literally, philanthropy means a voluntary action for the public good.  In practice, it means giving your time, talents, or treasure, and philanthropy is hugely important to Young Americans Center.  Philanthropy was an important value of Bill Daniels who initially funded Young Americans Center in 1989.  But more importantly, our work here could not happen without the Don Station-Double Fistedgenerous support of the community around us.

As a result, a discussion about philanthropy is part of the Young AmeriTowne curriculum and summer camps.  Not only do students learn about giving at school before they visit Young AmeriTowne, but they have an opportunity to donate their “treasure” during their day in Towne: students can donate Young AmeriTowne dollars from either their personal or business account to one of six different charities.

At Young AmeriTowne in Denver, students can donate their YAT dollars to these charities:

  • Susan M. Duncan Family YMCA
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of Denver
  • Special Olympics Colorado
  • F.A.C.E.S. (Family Advocacy, Care, Education, and Support)
  • Pencils for Peace Colorado
  • Urban Peak

At Young AmeriTowne in Belmar, students can donate their YAT dollars to these charities:

  • Legacy of Hope
  • Arts Street
  • The Greenway Foundation
  • Freedom Service Dogs of America
  • Family Tree
  • Anchor Center for Blind Children

Charities are chosen every year by a youth board.  At Denver, our Young Americans Center Youth Board accomplished this task, and at Belmar, a group of Jefferson County youth leaders does the voting.

When citizens donate their YAT dollars, two generous foundations turn this money into REAL dollars!  The Schlessman Family Foundation at YAT Denver and the Community First Foundation at YAT Belmar match citizen donations at 10 cents for every dollar donated.  If 10 cents doesn’t seems like much, get this: last year, Young AmeriTowne citizens donated $29,086.42 AmeriTowne dollars or $2,908.64 real dollars to charity!

At the end of the school year, representatives from each of these charities visit DSCN1219Young AmeriTowne to receive a check.  It is one of the most exciting days to be a citizen of Towne!  Check presentations for both locations are happening this week.  Although I can’t report on this year’s total dollar amount because it is determined the morning of each presentation, I can tell you that students have already donated more this year than they ever have before!

Thank you to the citizens of Young AmeriTowne for generously donating money that you have worked hard to earn.  Thank you to the Schlessman Family Foundation and Community First Foundation for generously matching these donations.  And thank you to Young Americans Center’s community of supporters that makes all of this possible!

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