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DCF Youth Council Is Making A Difference

The DCF Youth Council was established in 2012 to involve youth in a meaningful way in the philanthropic traditions, to encourage young people to give and serve in their community, and to make philanthropy a habit of the heart for future generations of Dearborn County residents. The council consists of 18 high-school age youth (grades 9-12) from across Dearborn County.

The Council is self-sufficient and youth-ran with DCF staff and volunteers giving guidance and direction where needed. The council is guided by the three ideals of giving and serving, leadership development, and community engagement.

The youth are nominated by individuals in our community and from recommendations from current Youth Council members. Council members exhibit qualities of energetic, caring and involved youth who want to better serve their community. It’s important to note that young people in the community don’t have to serve on the council to get involved in council activities.

Youth Council members are learning the value of philanthropy and that setting aside funds for the needs of future generations through endowment is vital. The DCF Youth Endowment Fund, which was established in 2012, has grown significantly through the hard work of the youth. The endowment fund will provide support for various needs in the community through grants recommended by the Youth Council. The DCF Youth Council Endowment Fund has grown to a value of more than $7,000. Youth Council members have input as to what they see are the needs from year to year through their grant recommendations from the fund.

To help the youth in fundraising efforts and in determining granting needs in the community, Council members attended a youth fundraising and grant-making workshops. The trainings, presented by the Youth Philanthropy Initiative of Indiana (YPII), provide Council members with the necessary tools to communicate the purpose of fundraising events and to assess and recommend grants that have a meaningful impact in the community.

The YPII honored the DCF Youth Council as 2013’s top fundraiser among the 27 youth philanthropy council’s across the Hoosier State. The honor, which is for the funds raised by the Youth Council in 2013 ($3,600), was announced at the July 2014 YPII /GIFT Summer Conference in Indianapolis. Through its fundraising, the Council has been able to grow the DCF Youth Endowment Fund and impact those in need through grants to Dearborn County’s food pantries.

The Council participates in community service projects, including volunteering time by shopping for needy families served by the Dearborn County Clearing House for Emergency Aid and sorting donations for the Children’s Coalition for Christmas Toys. The Council has also volunteered to help the We Care Packages, Inc. with its mission to send care packages to U.S. soldiers.

Current Youth Council members are: Bobby Ash, Hanna Busha, Hannah Caldwell, Nathan Folop, Meghan Gray, Skye Isaacs, Morgan Jones, Shelby Lake, Moira Metz, Kailin Mitchell, Shelby Rose, Megan Sampson, Brittany Schwarz, Ashley Sedler, Rickey Simpson, Luke Ruter, Kirsten Stenger, and Sydney Yoe.