DENVILLE, NJ – Students from Morris County School of Technology (MCST) learn about philanthropy and giving back under the tutelage of Yale Levey, co-founder and ambassador of Main Street Philanthropy, which offers a curriculum that introduces students to the ins and outs of nonprofit organizations. Sarah Cassidy, director of external affairs for Cancer Hope Network, and Dana Coppola, public relations and social media specialist/program coordinator of Embrace Relief, paid a visit to the students on Dec. 16.
Embrace Relief is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that collaborates with volunteers to deliver humanitarian aid and disaster relief to vulnerable communities around the world. Cancer Hope Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free one-on-one emotional support to adult cancer patients and their loved ones. Cassidy and Coppola shared information about their basic responsibilities at their respective organizations.
Students asked various questions about running a charity: is there an age limit to volunteering, what inspired Coppola and Cassidy to be involved, how did their personal experiences impact their choice of charity, who benefits from nonprofits, what is involved with managing funds raised, and how do organizations with limited financial resources expand their reach. In the end, students learned that giving back to a worthy cause is more than just the amount of money raised.
“Being part of this program by Main Street Philanthropy is great,” said 17-year-old senior Ranjan Kesavan from Parsippany.
“It’s not normal to do stuff like this in high school, but it empowers students to find opportunities. And it’s amazing to connect with individuals at charities that broaden our horizon.”
Kesavan already gives back in his community, volunteering his time as an EMT for Parsippany’s ambulance squad as well as at the local food bank and Morristown Memorial Hospital.
Seventeen-year-old senior Ireland Walker from Parsippany also feels fortunate to be taking the class.
“It’s awesome,” said Walker.
“This is an amazing way to reach out and help the community. It’s a great connection for students our age to improve the community, get references and network for our future ability to help our town. In the future, I’d love to do more.”
Walker helps special-needs students in her town.
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