JMG’s Project Reach students at Vassalboro Community School have made many JOY donations in the local community since the program began nearly five years ago. Students who began making the grants as 6th graders are more experienced philanthropists as eight graders and are able to track results and local impact.
Unlike multi-million dollar donations that get donor names on university buildings, JOY grants support persistent family and youth needs locally. Vassalboro’s JOY grants have been directed to the local public library where the students now have input on the purchase of new books that “their” money supports; a grant was made to the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter to build a new family shelter; grants have also gone to the local food pantry.
Students notice. Their names may not be emblazoned across the entrance to the nonprofits but they remember and occasionally check with Vassalboro Specialist Victor Esposito, “Did our money go there?”