We are so thrilled for our cool comrades at Doors to Dream, and honored to have had a hand in helping them plan their first “after school” project. We can’t wait to see how they grow this program, endowing Charleston and beyond with a fresh, eager crop of humanitarians. But first, a look back on what they achieved at kick-off:
Doors to Dream Builds Next Gen Philanthropic Spirit at Local High School
Charleston, SC (May 23, 2019) – Providing the vehicle that transports the will to serve into substantive action, Doors to Dream is mobilizing some of the youngest philanthropists in the Holy City. Too often stuck between a reputation of blind self-interest and an absence of resources to effect real change, today’s youth wish to address the former with “I want to help,” but the latter leaves them with “I don’t know how.” Doors to Dream aims to free them from the stereotype, and fortify them for life-changing service.
At an inaugural event toward that mission, the non-profit recently partnered with Charleston County’s Burke High School to galvanize a group of 10th graders for a compassionate cause: replenishing the supply of toys for the patients of MUSC Children’s Hospital. In the weeks leading up to the event, Burke faculty identified six student leaders for the project, and from there planning for a toy drive, fundraiser car wash, and class-wide assembly was under way. With their sponsoring teachers and the Doors to Dream executive team available for consult, the sophomore team took charge of every aspect of the initiative, from obtaining MUSC’s Child Life management’s “wish list” of toys, to staffing and marketing the car wash, to conceptualizing and coordinating the culminating rally.
That final event took place on May 8 in the auditorium of Burke High, and incorporated the school’s entire 10th grade class. Following brief presentations from the student leadership team and Doors to Dream Executive Director Carey Dunn, the class was divided into eight color-coded teams and armed with competition guidelines. In a relay race-style format, each team was to organize their share of the $2,000 worth of donated puzzles, Legos, crafts supplies, magna tiles, and other toys into bins prepared for delivery to the children’s hospital. Every single student was engaged with a conspicuous and critical role, from caller to runner to quality control, and at the sound of the gong they were off. Team Silver ultimately took the bragging rights, but every teen walked away with the sweet swagger of having furthered a meaningful cause. And as they watched their student leaders load the school bus with the bins of goodies and drive off toward a most deserving point of delivery, they were all moved with an authentic spirit of compassion and confidence in their undeniable impact. Such a profound outcome would not have resulted without commitment, trust, and teamwork.
“We believe authentic relationships serve as the foundation to all meaningful and positive growth, and therefore understood the value and importance of building relationships with teachers, staff, and students at Burke before inserting ourselves into this community,” remarked Dunn. “Watching our student leaders, and the pursuit of excellence they projected, inspired their fellow classmates to take pride in the competition and leave feeling connected to a meaningful community outreach project.”
This was evident in the happiness and hustle shown by each student participant, and summed up beautifully by one: “This project has activated something inside me that was already there, but now it is awake. I feel empowered to do more for the community.”
This was just the beginning. The Doors to Dream after school program officially launches Fall 2019. Please visit doorstodream.org to find out more information and learn about ways to support us. Inquiries about our programming are welcomed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Doors to Dream
Doors to Dream is a non-profit organization based in Charleston, SC. We invest directly in Charleston’s underserved youth to empower and equip them to pursue their dreams with determination and faith. We are committed to developing programs for these students that dismantle the detrimental effects of the opportunity gaps they face. Doors to Dream will use after school hours to engage students in authentic mentorship relationships and support the creation and completion of student-designed social impact projects. Unlocking for each student a greater awareness of who they are and what they are capable of will transform their confidence and set them on a path towards lifelong success.