When Alexandra Jones, Rachel Reed and Caroline Smith started a Severna Park chapter of 100 Teens Who Care, they didn’t just create a group; they empowered their peers to advocate for causes that demonstrate their passions.
A giving circle, 100 Teens Who Care works by bringing youth together to share information about their favorite local nonprofits.
Each teen brings a monetary donation, nominates a nonprofit by writing its name on a slip of paper, and drops that paper into a fish bowl. Three slips are fished from the bowl at random, and the nominating teens make their case for their organizations during a brief pitch. Attendees then vote by secret ballot to choose the recipient of all the funds.
Once they heard about the concept, Jones, Reed and Smith were all in.
“We got the idea from a friend of ours, and also our parents who were involved in 100 Women Who Care Annapolis,” Smith said. “We didn’t have anything like this at Severna Park High School that was youth-oriented.”
The girls held their inaugural meeting on October 13 at the Whitehurst Clubhouse, with more than 30 students in attendance. The three nonprofits chosen at random were Fridays for Future Annapolis, a group spreading awareness about climate change; Ellie’s Bus, which supports mental health awareness and suicide prevention; and Maryland Animal Sanctuary & Rescue Organization.
Ellie’s Bus was chosen by the teens as the recipient of the funds. The students raised $500, and two adult donors, unrelated to the event organizers, helped the group reach $1,000.
So what’s next for the newly established chapter of 100 Teens Who Care? The girls plan to hold another event around February. In the meantime, they hope the event not only raised money for charity but also raised awareness, spread knowledge and gave hope.
“We want to give more exposure to small charities,” Jones said.