Wayne County Youth Foundation provides unmatched lessons on philanthropy
The Wayne County Community Youth Foundation meets once a month, each time at a different location and each time highlighting philanthropy in the community.
I was a member of the group my junior year and I remember being surprised at each meeting by the generous role played by many local organizations.
Tours given by employees and volunteers at organizations like the CAMO, the Viola Startzmann Clinic, Christian Children’s Home of Ohio and the Adaptive Sports Program of Ohio gave me a new awareness of the needs in our community and made me aware of the potential and responsibility of citizens to help alleviate those needs.
Though they have different goals, each group has an essential and transformative influence, without being self-serving or receiving widespread recognition.
Seeing the willingness of the employees and volunteers in non-profits helped me to feel more personally invested in community wellness and opened my eyes to the importance of generosity.
Furthermore, the group introduced me to people who shared my newfound interest in philanthropy. Many of the adults in the Community Foundation and the locations we toured are active in the community, and the teenagers who were in the club alongside me are also engaged community members.
Through WCCYF, a group of my peers and I were able to give our own grant. Our charismatic adviser, Ferenc Relle, ensures that the group is no lecture hall, but a hands-on way to learn about community service and value it.
This year, I returned to the group as a youth adviser. Watching a new group of smiling faces develop into engaged citizens is endlessly uplifting. I cannot encourage upcoming students enough to apply for the Wayne County Community Youth foundation, as it provides an unmatched opportunity to engross oneself in the community and recognize the significance of each group and individual’s impact in the community.