H-SC Class Teaches Philanthropy

Published 2:41 pm Thursday, December 20, 2012

During the fall semester, Hampden-Sydney College offered its first philanthropy class, Philanthropy in Theory and Practice, sponsored by Doris Buffett's Learning by Giving Foundation. In this class, taught by Dr. Saranna Thornton, Professor of Economics & Business, 14 students learned to research and prepare grant requests, to present grant proposals, and finally to judge the outcome. Individually or in teams students spent time working with and developing an understanding of the operation and needs of each non-profit.

The class's mission statement was “To provide up to $10,000 of financial aid to local non-profit organizations to engage in projects that advance the life and overall welfare of the community.” The class met with the Foundation December 12 to present proposals, representing $52,000 in grant requests. There were hard choices to be made: Heart of Virginia Free Clinic, Pharmacy Start-up; Habitat for Humanity, Finance a Build; Finance a Build, One Month's Worth of Meals; Moton Museum, Seed Money for Sign Purchase; Madeline's House, Capital Campaign for Down Payment on House; FACES, Purchase a Truck; Virginia Legal Aid Society, Services on Substandard Housing – Outreach and Representation; YMCA, Live Strong Program for Cancer Survivors.

The driving factors in the students' decisions were which grants would provide the most benefits for the most people in Prince Edward County. In the end, the Heart of Virginia Free Clinic and FACES were each awarded $5000. 

The $5000 award to the Free Clinic, proposed by Ben Quinn, a senior from Roanoke, and Steven Thacker, a senior from Fairlawn, VA, will allow the Clinic to access another $35,000 in other grants to open and stock a pharmacy.

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Brian Sone, a junior from Dallas, TX, plans to continue working to raise another $5000 which will allow FACES to purchase a new truck to collect food donations from local supermarkets and from farmers.