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Mother Teresa Students Partner with Magnified Giving to Make Community Impact
Developing Tomorrow’s Philanthropists Today
Liberty Township, OH (April 9, 2019) – Months of hard work, research, sacrifice of lunch and study hall periods, and practicing presentation skills, culminated in the Magnified Giving finalist round at Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School (MTCES) on April 4th. This school year, MTCES established a partnership with Magnified Giving, a Midwest-based nonprofit educational organization located in Cincinnati. Founded by philanthropist Roger Grein in 2008, Magnified Giving exists to educate, inspire, and engage students in philanthropy. It teaches students to evaluate the benefit of various organizations to their community and invites them to grant Magnified Giving funds to organizations of their choosing.
Led by parent volunteers Avinne Kiser and Sheryl Harold, 50 junior high students participated in the Mother Teresa Magnified Giving program. They voted to focus on the themes of hunger/poverty and disabilities/illness this year. After being randomly divided into 10 groups, students familiarized themselves with the nonprofits’ missions by volunteering and speaking with organization representatives about financial health, goals, and needs. The project culminated with group persuasive slide presentations to their peers and various panels of judges about why their respective organizations should win a Magnified Giving $1,000 grant. “While watching the presentations, Sheryl and I witnessed the impact Magnified Giving had on these students,” said Avinne. “Magnified Giving truly opened our students’ eyes to the need in the community and inspired them to share their time, talent, and treasure to make a difference.”
After the initial votes were tabulated, four groups advanced to the final round competing for the $1,000 grant. These groups represented 4 Paws for Ability, Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati, Hope’s Closet, and Special Olympics of Hamilton County. On April 4th, the groups made their final presentations to fellow students, parents, and a panel of judges comprised of faculty and community members. The winner of the $1,000 grant was 4 Paws for Ability. Because the presenters were so persuasive, an audience member contacted Magnified Giving to make an anonymous donation so that more funds could be distributed. Magnified Giving matched this donation and surprised second place finishers Hope’s Closet, with a $500 grant, and a $250 grant to both Down Syndrome Association of Greater Cincinnati and Special Olympics of Hamilton County.
“By winning the grant for 4 Paws for Ability, we were able to help a nonprofit that needed the money for a great cause,” said 8th grader Anne Majka, member of the 4 Paws group. “The best part of this experience was helping the kids in need, and the fact that my group and I made a difference.”
Recognizing that the concepts of giving and doing for others are central to both Mother Teresa and Magnified Giving, Avinne and Sheryl hope to moderate the program again next year. Transformed by the experience, students have learned compromise, negotiation, and flexibility. Sheryl elaborates, “Most importantly, Magnified Giving opened their eyes to how many right here in our tri-state area are in great need. There are incredible people close to home working every day to make lives better for others.”
MTCES, a 2018 Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, is one of only three independent, private Catholic elementary schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. A group of 20 families concerned about the unavailability of Catholic education opportunities in the Butler-Warren, Ohio region founded the school in 1998. MTCES has built a permanent home on a 25-acre campus in Liberty Township. The state-of-the-art facility opened a new academic wing in the 2016-17 school year, and currently serves 534 students.
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