Humanics Students4Giving, a course on “Philanthropy & Grant Making” which provides hands-on experiences in philanthropy and leadership at Fresno State, was selected for the “Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy Award for 2017” by the Association of Fundraising Professionals California Valley Chapter (AFP).

The award recognizes a professional fundraiser for their accomplishments and adherence to the principles of ethical fundraising practices established by the association. Students4Giving, with 24 current members, was recognized on National Philanthropy Day on Nov. 9, during a reception at Pardini’s.

As part of the course on “Philanthropy & Grant Making” (Sociology 183S) offered each spring through the Department of Sociology, the Humanics Students4Giving project provides hands-on experiences in philanthropy and leadership by allowing students to develop contacts with community benefit organizations, learn how to assess community needs and requests, and evaluate funding proposals.

The student group was nominated for the 2017 youth philanthropy award by Dr. Kent Karsevar, executive director of Ronald McDonald House Charities, for their service to the organization.

In 2016, the students partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Central Valley, Inc. on the “Happy Wheels Cart” project. With an initial investment of $5,000, the students helped to facilitate the building and provisioning of a custom cart staffed by Valley Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House volunteers. The cart is filled with drinks, snacks, coloring books, stuffed animals, and other items designed to provide comfort for families in need. With the project, the students sought to increase awareness for the services the local Ronald McDonald House provides to the patients and families of Valley Children’s Hospital, while at the same time providing a cherished moment of relief and joy for current patients. 

Since its establishment in 2007, more than 320 students have taken part in the Humanics Philanthropy Project at Fresno State, preparing for careers in philanthropic leadership that will serve to better our community.

“Through this program, I truly fell in love with Fresno all over again,” said Daniel Gonzalez, a member of Students4Giving. “I went away to Sacramento and I thought, I want to go back to Fresno; I want to invest more in my community.”

Humanics students involved in the Happy Wheels Cart project say they are grateful to have received this recognition from Ronald McDonald House Charities and AFP.

“The award, to me, means that all the countless hours and late nights we spent together working on different projects paid off,” said sociology student Alexis Terrell. “We are young professionals and AFP recognized that we matter, and they appreciate what we do in the community. Working with the organizations has helped each of us realize we can make a difference and work in this sector no matter where we go or what we want to do.”