Grace Christian School awards $1,000 to local charities during Zoom call

Grace Christian School awards $1,000 to local charities during Zoom call


Andrew Touchton’s seventh-grade social studies students at Grace Christian School joined a recent Zoom call to present charities with $1,000 in donations.

Two awards of $500 each were gifted virtually to Voices for Change Animal League and The Centers during a recent celebration of Youth Philanthropy in Action (YPIA) at Grace Christian School via Zoom.

Seventh-grade students in Andrew Touchton’s social studies classes received five weeks of instruction about philanthropy, the community and how to put their efforts into action. Members of the NonProfit Business Council (NPBC) taught the classes and were scheduled to distribute the checks on March 23, the week after spring break, but the COVID-19 virus closed school buildings.

One-day-per-week for five weeks, NPBC members taught about the history of philanthropy and the differences in the sectors of society (nonprofit, for profit, government) while encouraging students to learn about their passions and the community. Classmates were grouped based on common interests and created “case for support” presentations to support local charities with an imaginary $500.

Lauren Deiorio, president & executive director of the Community Foundation, virtually presents a check recently.

However, through a generous donation from Stan and Martha Hanson to the Community Foundation for Ocala/Marion County, the students learned recently that the winning presentations received real money to donate. Stan Hanson joined the recent Zoom meeting to share congratulatory remarks.

Since 2012, more than 900 students have received the YPIA curriculum in public and private middle schools throughout Marion County with $21,000 in grants given to 30 nonprofits. Collectively in student surveys, 72 percent say they have learned more about their community through YPIA; 66 percent learned what they care about, and 65 percent plan to volunteer because of YPIA.

For more information, contact the Community Foundation at (352) 622-5020.