Youth today are the most socially conscious and tech-connected generation yet. They have strong ideas. They are hungry to co-create. They are ready to lead. And they have the digital tools to ignite change faster than ever.
We saw the potential for engaging youth back when GivingTuesday was founded in 2012. And we now see that vision in action every day through our incredible GivingTuesdaySpark Leaders. Ranging in age from 6 to 21 years, these youth are passionate about raising awareness and funds to achieve equity in the realms of clean water, literacy, disaster relief, healthcare, hygiene, arts access, and more. They are an awe to watch!
We realize, though, that while parents and caregivers know that it’s important to raise kind, caring, and generous kids, figuring out how to create regular educational and real-world touchpoints can be challenging. And so we’re thrilled to announce a new partnership to help sow the seeds of generosity early: Give As We Grow.
Give As We Grow is a collaborative project between GivingTuesday, National Center for Family Philanthropy, and Phillips Foundation. The first seed for Give As We Grow was planted by a 4-year-old who experienced his “generosity spark” by connecting the fun he had at summer camp to donating money from his piggy bank to help give other kids the same fun camp experience he had enjoyed.
In the years since, Give As We Grow’s seeds have taken root and sprouted—from family conversations about what it means to give back, to an analysis of the resource landscape for helping families connect their passions to giving, to the evolution of technology and game-based learning, to a Give As We Grow beta website launch in 2019, and now, to a new iteration launching this month: A first-of-its-kind, free educational mobile app for children 8–11 that teaches kids—via fun, service-focused mini-game quests—to tap into their unique talents and interests to help others, a Giving Journal for families to track their in-game and real-world acts of giving and see their impact over time, and a robust resource library to help families and caregivers of kids ages 3–18 spark conversations about giving and translate learning into real-world impact.
We’re thrilled about the potential of Give As We Grow to help families build a culture of generosity with kids in a way that meets kids where they are. The platform helps families create pathways and find inspiration from the virtual reality world to connect to their passions, take action in their communities, and prepare them for a life of purpose.
In some ways, it might be hard to imagine that a spark could come from a game, but that’s the beauty of radical generosity. It only takes a tiny spark to plant a seed, develop roots, and thrive in the face of passion and curiosity.