By Framingham State University
FRAMINGHAM – The past year has been a difficult one for local charitable organizations, which have been hit hard by the COVID-19 Pandemic. So it was especially powerful today, May 11, as students in sociology professor
Ira Silver’s non-profit giving course at Framingham State University gathered via Zoom to award more than $10,000 to The Care Center
in Holyoke and Learn to Cope in Taunton.
Students in the Nonprofit Giving course are provided with $10,000 from the Learning by Giving Foundation to donate to a charity of their choice. The organization has provided the money annually to Dr. Silver’s course since 2014.
Students begin the semester by reading his book, Giving Hope: How You Can Restore the American Dream, which shows how philanthropy can enable Americans experiencing hard times to move their lives forward. Then they begin a comprehensive process that involves
researching local non-profit organizations, creating an RFP (Request for Proposals), reviewing bids, and doing site visits to finalists.
Students decided early on that they wanted their donations to go toward addressing social justice and the opportunity gap.
“We wanted to give to a problem that impacted injustice in our community, not just give money to make ourselves feel good,” said Tajahn Joyner.
This year students decided to split the money between two organizations – The Care Center, which empowers young mothers to gain a college education and Learn to Cope, an organization that offers support, education and resources to families who have a member dealing with drug addiction.
The students also received an additional $750 from the Learning by Giving Foundation based on the power of last year’s ceremony so each organization received a check for $5,375.
“You should be so proud of your work,” said Learning by Giving Foundation Executive Director Shanna O’Berry. “I can’t tell you how many personal stories I’ve heard from this ceremony and past ceremonies at Framingham State that I carry with me. It reminds me why we do this program.”
During the ceremony students walked through the entire process they undertook during the year, speaking passionately about the profound impact it had on each of them. Several students said their experience in the course cemented their desire to work for a nonprofit after college, and some expressed a desire to launch one of their own.
“This course has allowed me to find myself and my true purpose in life,” said Alana Spiro. “I do have the power to make a change in society.”