1. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    Is this a good idea for a charity?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Duchess-Yukine-Suoh, Oct 4, 2013.

    I came up with an idea for a charity a while back. I know that a lot of inner-city young children are not able to attend extracurricular activities due to the family not being able to afford fees or transport the children.As a result, the bored children usually start getting involved in gangs at a young age.

    So, here's my idea:
    We have a free, co-ed, "scouting" group. It requires no books, fees, or uniforms. We have drivers to pick up and drop off the children if the parents can't do it. I want to have the ages from 6-11 and you advance each year. At the weekly 90-minute meeting, the children are served healthy snacks and do activities pertaining to the month's "theme" which could be anything from sports to making a knot quilt to making kites. We would send home a letter to the parents explaining how you can extend the activity at home in a low-cost way. And every so often (when we can get enough donations) we would take the kids to some sort of activity, a play or something. We might even start a free summer camp.


    So, is this a good idea?
     
  2. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    So a ghetto Boy Scouts? The issue you run into is overhead. You need to rent a space to have your meetings, you need to get the appropriate licenses and run background checks on all the volunteers, not to mention gas, food and art supplies. So, no I don't think it would work.

    Also, a 'free' summer camp is, for all intents and purposes, impossible.
     
  3. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    It's a good idea in theory, but I have to agree with JJ. If you're lucky, you may be able to find a few people willing to help fund this whole thing. Have you talked to anyone else about it? A parent or teacher perhaps?
     
  4. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    There's also an issue with transportation -- you'd need to have sufficient liability insurance for transporting the kids. If the driver is in an accident, they're going to be sued. Insurance could get very pricy in that situation.

    Also, as JJ mentioned, there are costs for renting facilities, getting enough volunteers and making sure they have the proper background checks, etc.
     
  5. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you considered connecting with the schools in these areas and volunteering to do enrichment activities there? The kids and the facilities are already there, so many of the issues that people are pointing out would be eliminated. You'd probably still have to go through a background check, but the schools may already be all set up to do that. The activities wouldn't necessarily be occurring in extracurricular _time_, but ninety minutes a week isn't going to fill much of a kid's off time anyway--I assume that the goal is to spark an interest in the kid, rather than keep him distracted for a large chunk of time.
     
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  6. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    I like, and may run with, this idea. I haven't talked to anyone about it, I want to fully "develop" the program first. (And then, I might run it by some of you and see what you think)

    Can anyone think of a good name for this?
     
  7. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    Bah humbug! The OP is asking if it's a good idea not is it realistic for a 13 year old to found and fund.

    Yes Duchess it is a great idea, unfortunately as others have mentioned, you will find it incredibly difficult to do on your own. If I were in your shoes with my heart set on starting such a foundation I would carefully think out every possibility, and work out every last penny it will take to start and maintain for five years then when you think you've covered everything show your teacher/principle and I am sure they will add their tuppence worth. When you have calculated everything, get helping drawing up a business plan - your local bank may help you with this - then write a cover letter and send your business plan to everybody you know - and even those you don't - in your area who own a business and seek their help.

    Be warned, even if Bill Gates decides this is fantastic, he's not going to throw a ton of money at you so you will need the help of an adult and somebody in a position of society, maybe your teacher again or a clergyman, r that bank manager who just drew up your business plan :)

    If you decide to carry through your ideas I wish you luck - you'll need it but remember, the longest journey starts with one small step!
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
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  8. Uberwatch
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    Uberwatch Active Member

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    It sounds like a lot to fund. In theory, it sounds like a great idea.
     
  9. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's a great idea in principle, but I would be concerned about who 'you' are, as in, what are your references, experience in working with children, are you reliable, safe, competent etc. In this day and age, you can't be too careful.
     
  10. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    A businessman named Robert Townsend, who wrote Up The Organization, wrote: "If you developed a way to eliminate air pollution at a cost of $1.50 per state, the worse thing you could do would be to announce your discovery. You'd be amazed at how many people would be against you...the best thing to do when you have an idea is to quietly build support, marshall your allies, then go."

    He was talking about working within corporations, but the principle applies generally, as you see. So, first of all, I think that it's fantastic that your are thinking in this direction.

    I serve on the board of directors of a non-for-profit agency that started in 1948 with a mom who had a son with Down Syndrome and put an ad in the New York Post to see if anyone else was interested in starting a school for children with developmental disabilities. She got about 20 responses. Today, that little group has grown into a statewide agency in New York with 100,000 members that serves 600,000 disabled adults in residences and many more in supportive employment, day habilitation, camping and recreation, and a national advocacy organization with affiliates in every state. But it all started with one mom and an ad in a newspaper.

    Moral: start small. Really small. If you have a school in mind, start with that school. Talk to teachers until you find one who likes your idea as much as you do. Then start with one class, or at most one grade. Find at least one or two parents who like your idea as much as you and the teacher do. I was a cub scout, once. We were organized into "dens". Every den had a den mother (my mother was mine). Since you've started with scouting as a model, this may serve you well. You may also want to contact organizations like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, or Boys & Girls Clubs of America, to see what kind of literature they have that can help. They may even be able to provide some direct assistance.

    As has been mentioned above, there are a number of thorny issues to work out, and transportation is one of them. Let the adults work them out. You're the idea-meister.

    And a damned good one.
     
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  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    all i can do is agree with all ed has to say on this... bravo, ed... and kudos to you, duchess!!!
     
  12. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    Thank you, everybody! You have very helpful tips. :) I'm actually going to write down my entire plan for the program and see where it goes from there. Also, I'm thinking of calling it "EmPower Kids" because it sounds good.
     

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