Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.
– Benjamin Franklin
This year, The Patterson Foundation (TPF) celebrated National Take Your Child to Work Day in a BIG way for our little ones. TPF staff were encouraged to invite the children in their lives to join us for the day to get a broad picture of how we strengthen the community.
To learn how each employee’s gifts are woven throughout the organization, third graders Kennedy and Avery and fifth graders Emma, Olivia, and Wyatt rotated between offices, spending 1:1 time for 10 minutes with TPF’s staff. In the spirit of joyful stewardship, the team created engaging projects for the young philanthropists to tackle while sharing the most interesting parts of their jobs.
At lunch time, President and CEO, Debra Jacobs, joined the team and our guests. Both the under-21s and over-21s were asked to describe in one word how they were feeling. Sparkly, happy, grateful, impressed, excited, and so many other positive words were shared. Debra shared statistics about philanthropy and we talked about other ways to give besides financial. I thought this was especially important since most children don’t have the monetary resources to be big givers, but can be endless sources of energy and talent. She asked what some of their talents were and how could they be used to help others. It was fun to listen to their answers – singing, dancing, speaking – and to learn how they had used their gifts to do good.
After lunch, Kennedy, Avery, Emma, Olivia, and Wyatt learned about the Giving Challenge and how to navigate The Giving Partner – locating the nonprofits that best matched their values. To make it even more meaningful, each child was gifted $25 by their host to donate, and because of TPF’s 1:1 match up to $100, they were over the moon to know their donation counted as $50! It was fun listening to them throw out the names of organizations or categories to see what groups fit their criteria.
We finished the day with an ice cream sundae party, each child creating their own version of the perfect sundae. Sadly, this is not a daily occurrence at The Patterson Foundation, but we thought it was a sweet way (pun intended) to finish the day with our new friends.
We were delighted to demonstrate how we use our time, talents, and treasures to do good in our community. We showed them how we can all connect with each other, learn from each other, and share our stories and gifts with one another.