If our students are our future, then it is clear after meeting Aidan Krantz that our future is bright and hopeful. Aidan is an 11th grader who cares deeply about her community. She is kind, intelligent, generous, and passionate about showing appreciation for others. Last year she created Give Back to Givers to promote volunteerism in Holliston. On her website, www.givebacktogivers.com, she displays the following quote: “The heart of a volunteer is not measured in size, but by the depth of their commitment in the lives of others.” Her commitment to others is remarkable and I am excited to watch her charity make a difference in the lives of so many.
Q: What made you want to start Give Back to Givers?
A: I wanted to start Give Back to Givers after seeing the impact that all of the volunteers in Holliston had on my life and the lives of everyone else in town. I noticed that these people never got recognized, even though they worked so hard and dedicated so much of their time to others. I wanted to raise awareness of volunteerism, and get kids and teenagers involved in the town and showing appreciation for all of the town’s volunteers. Give Back to Givers was formed with the intent of being a source of volunteer and leadership opportunities for high-schoolers, children’s groups (such as girl/boy scout troops), and other young people.
Q: What was the process like to become a 501(c)3 charity and why were you interested in this designation as a charity?
A: In order to become 501(c)3 certified, I had to first create Articles of Incorporation. Once Give Back to Givers was a corporation, I had to apply to be tax-exempt (501(c)3) and receive government recognition as a non-profit. Now, each year, I have to re-apply to the government in order to remain tax-exempt. I was interested in Give Back to Givers being designated as a charity for many reasons. First off, I could open up a bank account (for our fundraising) and not have to pay taxes or fees on it. Secondly, we do not have to pay yearly taxes to the government and we can also receive discounted postage (which comes in handy for many of our projects). Finally, it helps to spread the word about Give Back to Givers because being a “corporation” leads to Give Back to Givers being put in phone books, resource websites, and more.
Q: Can you explain a project/event that your group has completed and one that you are involved in now or have scheduled for the future?
A: In February, Give Back to Givers cosponsored the Holliston Food Pantry’s Volunteer Appreciation Dinner. We had kids from our “volunteer base” work as servers at the event, as well as work together before the event to decorate the room and get it ready. We also had several high school students who decorated small vases and plant marigolds as a small “gift” to give away to each volunteer at the end of the night. Finally, we worked closely with HHS student Cam Todd to create a video presentation of pictures of Food Pantry volunteers doing their work! The night was so much fun for everyone, and the volunteers who attended definitely felt very special!
Currently, Give Back to Givers is working on thanking all of Holliston’s Fall Youth Sports Coaches. There are over 250 people who dedicate their time to soccer, football, and cheerleading teams in Holliston, and we noticed that they do not get the recognition they deserve. The HHS soccer teams, football team, and cheerleading team have all written and signed thank you notes for each sport’s youth coaches. These letters of appreciation will be sent out in the near future, and they will hopefully be a nice reward for the coaches.
Q: What has been the most meaningful learning for you as part of this process?
A: The most meaningful learning for me while creating Give Back to Givers has been how much teenagers in Holliston are willing to give back to their community. I have had so many kids come up to me and ask me if they can join the group and be part of our activities. Kids from all grades have taken leadership roles in individual projects and have done such a good job and have helped so much to make the group so successful.