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Allowance For Good

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Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Empowering Youth Globally and Locally

When I was 20 years old I studied abroad in Accra, Ghana. It was an incredible experience, but when I returned to my university in suburban Chicago I felt a disconnect. I wanted to engage in the same meaningful conversations and interactions as when I was abroad, but I couldn’t find a community in which to do this. Then I started volunteering at Allowance for Good.

Allowance for Good (AfG) develops the rising generations of philanthropic leaders who cultivate global citizenship and empower others around the world to achieve their full potential. They educate and engage youth ages 13-18 in topics such as philanthropy, leadership development, and social entrepreneurship in order to create successful 21st century global citizens.

Allowance for Good gave me the space to have these conversations about both global and local engagement, and also gave me the chance to do what I love, working with youth. Now I’ve been with the organization for nearly four years, two of those as a full-time employee. Everyday I am inspired by the amazing youth that we work with. They are engaged, passionate, and determined to make our world a better one for all of us.

www.allowanceforgood.org

Review from #MyGivingStory

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In 2006, I had the privilege of spending a week in rural Guatemala. The moment that left the greatest impression on me was the image of young, school-aged girl carrying pound after pound of coffee on her back. I was deeply saddened to learn that she was out of school. But I left was inspired to create a healthier future for girls like this. We have an immense opportunity to empower US youth to be catalysts for global philanthropic change today.

These youth will tackle pressing, interconnected global challenges such as access to education in under resourced communities. Working together, our future can and will be stronger. That’s how Allowance for Good was born.

Even today, I reflect on how we might advance our reach igniting more individuals with the skills, knowledge, and capacity to actualize meaningful contributions to micro and macro challenges. In so doing, I have discovered the essence of productive environments for advancement as intentional, innovative, and inviting.

And I believe these same ideas might be applied to our collective work in the philanthropic sector. John W. Gardner, former Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare under Lyndon B Johnson, founder of Independent Sector, and 1964 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, suggests that innovative organizations need a “Department of Continuous Renewal” in order to systematically drive internal (and external) renewal, creativity, and a free flow of ideas.

When I envision Gardner’s charge to us, I imagine the ebb and flow of water, an organization in constant motion that demands adapting to the external environment. To this end, we will be embarking on a new train-the-trainer model that will deliver hands-on educational experiences focused on philanthropy, civic engagement, global citizenship, social enterprise, and leadership development more deeply in Chicago area schools.

I give on behalf of the next generations we impact both in our own backyard and around the world. Today, our AfG family walks alongside us on this journey, and we are indeed grateful. Our community empowers us collectively to achieve greater impact. And they give us the freedom to discover our own potential to affect change at the secondary school in our own backyard or in a village of hope thousands of miles around the world.

This is why I give.

Elizabeth Newton
Founder and Executive Director, Allowance for Good

Review from #MyGivingStory

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Allowance for Good is helping to create and inspire our next generation of philanthropists!

I absolutely love giving of my time and skills to support our local nonprofit organization, Allowance for Good. It is truly inspiring and gives me such energy to see them help teens realize the impact they really can personally have on their world, both locally and globally. It's amazing when a young person first realizes that using their time and talents for good is just as important fas financial support and that they each have so much to offer! AfG teaches and inspires teens to be creative and passionate and this keeps the cycle of giving across communities and across generations moving infinitely forward. Such amazing and important work! This next generation is so full of energy and promise and Allowance for Good is helping train and inspire these philanthropic leaders of the future. It's so exciting to imagine how far this impact will go out into the world and far into the future!

Review from #MyGivingStory

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Can you imagine a world where all teens care about something bigger than themselves and take action to address social issues? Who would those teens then grow up to be? What issues would they address and how much progress could they make? Imagine that all teenagers are told that they have the ability, right and power to effect change in their communities - and are then given the tools to do so.

That's the mission of Allowance for Good. To empower and engage teens in programs designed to spark their philanthropic passions - teaching them how to use their time, talent, treasure and ties for good.

I love seeing the ripple effect that occurs in Allowance for Good youth. Once they are exposed to AfG programs, they not only care and understand more about the philanthropic landscape - they start actively doing good in their communities. They initiate projects, they accomplish goals, they inspire others - all for a social good that they believe in and that they chose - and not simply because they were told they should. I love the depth of their energy and direction - and, as a mom of two teens, see it as key to becoming young adults who both pursue their dreams and give back to their communities.

I believe in the power of teens for good. I invest in the next generation. And I wholeheartedly support Allowance for Good.

Aimee Long

www.allowanceforgood.org

Review from #MyGivingStory