_Philanthropy is not simply about sums of money being donated from one party to another. On a greater level, it necessitates educating minds, stirring hearts, and inspiring action - all driven by a collective compassion to address issues of human need. One of our hopes is to engage a unique population with this essence of philanthropy: students. This past weekend, we were excited to sponsor a charity dinner - planned and executed by our high school interns - with the hope of initiating a movement of philanthropy amongst the youth in the Bay Area.
Nearly 80 guests, mostly consisting of high school and college students, gathered this past Saturday for the charity dinner. The interns led a variety of fun and informative activities aimed at raising awareness of the world’s social injustices, and even got to share some of their personal reflections from interning at the TFish Fund and the Chao Foundation. One intern, Emily, shared:
"We see the differences that distinguish them [the LRS children] from our routine lifestyles, and we have a better perspective of their dire needs. Their difficult living conditions are heartbreaking to see. Growing up in the Silicon Valley, an affluent area of an affluent nation, I feel a sense of guilt, and this sensation is uncomfortable. But, I believe that this guilt is accompanied by a sense of responsibility to reach out to these victims of social injustice."
Throughout the course of the dinner, the interns managed to raise over $1,200, all of which will go towards supporting various TFish Fund projects. One project is funding Zhongshe, Fangdi, and Lina to continue their education as they are recovering from their heart surgeries. While this donation will be immensely helpful, the impact of the dinner progressed beyond a mere collection of money.
Towards the end, all the guests were encouraged to pledge a number of people they will commit to informing about what they had learned that evening. 60 of the guests committed, contributing to a total pledged count of 450 people. If each of these individuals become convicted about the needs that are abroad, and then choose to take action in spreading word to their friends, we will have accomplished our goal of mobilizing a movement of philanthropy amongst students in the Bay Area. Our hope is that this movement will spread, calling communities around the U.S. to rise up in raising awareness and funds for those in greater need.
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