Despite what you might see in the newspapers and on the evening news, kids today aren’t all promiscuous, drug-using gang members with no regard for anyone but themselves. For every instance of bad juvenile behavior, there are literally thousands – if not hundreds of thousands – of examples of children and young adults acting in a loving, selfless way. And it is that “forgotten majority” that USSC wants to recognize and encourage. By doing this we help our children realize the joy of being a part of something special, something larger than themselves…
The idea first took form when our CEO, Jason Whitney, was struck by his own daughter’s desire to perform an act of humble yet profound kindness: to bake cookies for her friends at school. He realized that her desire spoke to the best of what makes us human beings, yet at the same time, is typically overlooked or outright ignored. Jason decided that he needed to follow his daughter’s example and be a role model for her at the same time. The best way to do this, he thought, was to duplicate and magnify her experience by allowing other kids to have the same experience. He wanted to make the process of giving both fun and rewarding to the kids who participated.
And that’s why we created our Coins For Kids program: to acknowledge, reward, and encourage the kind of character we see in kids every day. Jason Whitney has long donated to programs and charities that provide children with needed things such as educational tools and opportunities. But Jason realized that we also need to provide our children with tools with which to build their character as well as their knowledge. While philanthropy in the adult world is often limited to the act of writing a check, sometimes what our children need the most is something that money cannot buy: encouragement to build character that will serve them and those around them throughout their lives. The simple joy of giving to others is a crucial element in that character.
The Coins For Kids program is designed to foster in our children the habit of giving – while they are still young enough to really develop it. This program, open to kids in public and private schools and churches, provides the children with unique opportunities to perform selfless acts, and to feel the unmatched joy that comes from such selflessness. We at USSC believe that by planting the seeds of compassion at a young age, the fruits of those efforts will nurture not only the young participants in the program, but all the generations to come.
The Coins For Kids program is really composed of several creative mechanisms, all geared to making the act of selfless giving fun for kids of all ages, and to engage children in the larger community.