Getting Kids Involved in Philanthropy
How kids can make a meaningful difference for Seattle Children’s
Little Lemon Drops Junior Guild members
Washington state has the highest rate of young people volunteering – 42.2% of all Washington teenagers volunteer – and fundraising ranks second among ways volunteers in Washington give their time (data from VolunteeringInAmerica.gov).
Yet finding just the right philanthropic opportunities for young people can be difficult. The Guild Association can help. From forming a junior guild to volunteering for a day, the Guild Association can identify meaningful opportunities for the kids in your life.
Junior Members Make an Impact
Pink Polka Dots Junior Guild members
More than 200 children and teens contribute to Seattle Children’s as junior members of the Guild Association. Most are members of junior guilds, although a young person can join any guild as a junior member. Like their adult counterparts, junior guilds enable kids to gather groups of friends and transform their favorite activities into fundraisers for Children’s.
Meredith Rand and Kate Sieler, now 12, founded the Little Lemon Drops Junior Guild with their mothers five years ago. “It started with a lemonade stand,” says Meredith’s mom, Betsy Rand. “Now the guild hosts an annual pickleball event. The girls have had so much fun together, and it’s been wonderful to watch their fundraising efforts expand as they’ve discovered their own ability to reach out and help others.”
Kelsey Josund, now 18, was the first president of the Pink Polka Dots Junior Guild, which designs greeting cards, hosts art sales and presents an annual golf tournament. “We started our junior guild when we were in the sixth grade,” says Kelsey. “At first we held small events and relied on our parents for help. Now we do a lot ourselves and have a much better understanding of what needs to be accomplished when we start a new project.”
Abby Tumbleson, 13, chose to become a junior member of her mother’s guild as a way to get involved. “Abby’s school started requiring community service when she was in the sixth grade,” says Wendy Tumbleson, Abby’s mom and Star Guild member. “Joining my guild as a junior member was a fantastic way for her to learn about philanthropy and to meet her school requirements
by helping out with our American Girl Fashion Shows.”
Give a Little, Get a Lot
Rainbow Junior Guild members with their parents
Forming a junior guild is a great way to learn about philanthropy, but it does involve making a commitment. The Guild Association has additional ways for kids to take part in rewarding volunteer work:
Help at guild events
With hundreds of guilds hosting events, the Guild Association can identify volunteer opportunities for nearly any age.
Participate in kid-friendly events
Many guild events offer opportunities for kids to fundraise individually or come together around a common cause. “We’ve seen kids host bake sales, garage sales and barbecues to fundraise for our event,” says Erin Cordry, president of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Guild, which presents the Run of Hope each fall. “Last year a youth soccer team advertised at a park to raise money for the Run of Hope. There’s nothing more heartwarming than seeing kids helping kids.”
Organize a collection drive
Kids can organize drives to collect items that comfort patients and families, such as toys, books and DVDs.
Throw a birthday party
Instead of birthday gifts, kids can ask party attendees to bring items for patients and families or to make a donation.
Kids can host bake sales to raise funds for your guild or bake goodies for other guild events.
Junior members of the Star Guild
Summer is coming, and now is the perfect time to talk to the kids in your life about how they would like to get involved. For next steps, email the Guild Association or call 206-987-2153.