University student philanthropists celebrate a decade of giving

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University student philanthropists celebrate a decade of giving

Humanics@FresnoState will celebrate ten years of its Students4Giving Philanthropy Project, 10 a.m. Monday, May 16 at the Zimmerman Boys and Girls Club of Fresno County (540 N. Augusta St.). This year the students are awarding $15,000 in grants to three local community benefit organizations (CBOs).

The Students4Giving project is part of the sociology course “Philanthropy and Grantmaking” taught by Dr. Don Simmons. The 23 students enrolled this year will present the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Central Valley, Warnors Center for the Performing Arts and Lowell Community Development Corporation each with a check for $5,000 for their local commitment to enriching the community.

The finalists were selected from local organizations that met criteria set by the philanthropy students at the start of the semester. Students investigated needs within the community to form three boards of trustees. Each board formally researched local CBOs whose missions fit the criteria, developed requests for proposals, invited organizations to apply for funding, conducted site visits of the organizations, and interviewed the finalists.

The Ronald McDonald House will use the $5,000 Humanics grant to start its “Happy Wheels Cart Program” that will circulate through Valley Children’s Hospital with snacks and activity books for families. The cart will also provide families with information about the services of Ronald McDonald House.

Warnors Center for the Performing Arts has been a staple of downtown Fresno and strives to bring educational and cultural experiences to the Fresno metropolitan area. They will use the $5,000 Humanics grant to facilitate professional development and training for its board of directors and staff to support continued organizational growth.

The Lowell Community Development Corporation is helping to restore homes in the Lowell neighborhood for families to purchase, with a goal of improving quality of life for residents. They will use the $5,000 Humanics grant to provide workshops on tenants’ rights and responsibilities and safe and healthy housing.

The Humanics program at Fresno State is designed to transform lives and perspectives on leadership and philanthropy. “The program engenders exceptional leaders, enhanced organizations and enriched communities by investing thousands of dollars in organizations serving the region, partnering with those groups to strengthen their capacity and foster sustainability, and finally by preparing leaders for service to their community,” said Dr. Matthew Jendian, professor of sociology and director of Humanics@FresnoState.

For more information, contact Erica Saragosa at 559.977.6494 or elozano87@mail.fresnostate.edu.