Genevieve is participating in Allowance for Good's winter 2014 Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy program.
If I was the head of a family foundation, I would support education and housing for those in need. I would support these causes because I believe that they are the two most important things one needs in order to have a successful life. There are so many people without shelter. Homelessness exists throughout the world, from San Francisco to Italy. Once you are homeless, it is very hard to get back to a normal life without a group of people who want to help. My foundation would not just provide a shelter for people who need a place to stay for a little while and then go back out onto the streets. During the day, all school age children would go to a public school so that they can be educated. Their guardians would be learning about how to get their life back on track, continuing their education and getting some job training. When the kids come home from school, they would be able to do their homework and then have a good, healthy dinner. I would want these families to feel safe without worrying about where they are going to sleep the next night. I believe this stability is the core to having a successful life. If the kids are staying in school and getting an education while their guardians are improving their lives, these families will have a higher chance of success out in the real world.
I think that education is very important, because if one is not educated, then they will not be able to get a stable job and support their families. I have noticed at the shelter that I volunteer at, that when a family has been staying there for several weeks, the older kids end up taking care of their younger siblings. This is a big responsibility for the older siblings and I wonder how much time they have left over to do their own homework. It seems to me that the kids have just as hard of a time being homeless as the their guardian does. I volunteer on Wednesdays at a women’s homeless shelter and I help the children with their homework. As a reward, we play games after they are done. I try to encourage the kids to work hard so that they can develop good study habits and enjoy going to school.
|Genevieve, right, listens to guest speaker Sharmila Rao Thakker of The Siragusa Foundation during the Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy seminar.|