Choose Charity 2012


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Volunteer Voluntarily

As we wrap up this whirlwind spring semester and move into the summer, YAL encourages you to be engaged in your community and Choose Charity.

Here at YAL we have much to be thankful for, so we are taking some time to give back.  Just as it's important to educate our communities and campuses about private charity and voluntary action, it's important that we practice what we preach. So we are asking all YAL members, supporters, and chapters to join us and organize a "Choose Charity" event on your campus or in your community.

Please read this guide to learn how to host your own "Choose Charity" activism event and volunteer...voluntarily.

Apply Now

Participate in "Choose Charity" and receive a FREE YAL Banner for your chapter.


Where do we begin?

  • What:  Connect with a local charity to help those in need, and share the importance of private charity over government dependency!
  • When:  Any time in the summer -- but start planning now! Your free banner can take up to three weeks to arrive, and it will take at least a couple of weeks to find a local charity or reserve a high-traffic space on campus and organize your chapter.
  • How:  Read and follow the instructions in this comprehensive guide for a "Choose Charity" event and execute your plan on or off campus.
  • Why:  This is our opportunity to practice what we preach. If we believe people should take care of people, and not the government, then let's live up to that standard. And have a fun time at the same time!

Free Resources

We've got you covered. 

YAL offers FREE resources to every chapter to participate in Choose Charity:

  1. FREE BANNER: For giving back, we will give your chapter a free custom-designed YAL banner. Organize a "Choose Charity" event with your chapter, then fill out this application to confirm your participation and receive a free banner like this one:

    Choose Charity
  2. Request an Activism Kit: If your chapter is currently low on activism materials like YAL stickers and palmcards, you may need to request a free YAL Activism Kit to replenish your supply. Complete this quick application to request an Activism Kit. 

  3. RECRUIT! Print out plenty of YAL sign-up sheets: Download a sign-up sheet template here

  4. Build a giant display: If you participated in "Constitution Week" and built a Free Speech Wall, then don't let your good wood go to waste. Check out these instructions on how to turn your Free Speech Wall into a "Choose Charity" display.
  5. Print a 20 x 30 inch, customizable "Choose Charity" poster. Click below to download a white or blue banner to make your display look professional and instantly inform students about the charity you are supporting. You may be able to print this banner for free on campus, or at Kinkos for about $30, or make it yourself using this website.

  6. Print customizable flyers -- full page and 1/4 page -- to hand out to students. These flyers will inform students about your chapter and the charity you're supporting. Spread the word of liberty!
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  7. Print and distribute "Thank You" notes to those who give. Download these pre-written "Thank You" notes to give them to everyone who gives to your charity. You can edit them to include your chapter's contact information, so they can learn more about your chapter, too. It's an easy way to pick up a new recruit!

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  8. Download the Guide to Build an Effective YAL Chapter. Designed to include all the basic activism information a successful chapter needs to know. Use this for a detailed overview of tabling and recruitment during your Constitution Week event. Download it here Check out additional campus resources from our Strategic Partners here.

Pick An Event

What kind of event will you do?

Once your chapter is committed to participating, start organizing your event. We have put together two types of events -- on-campus and off-campus -- for your chapter to review and follow. But, be creative! We want to see how you can make these ideas better.

1. On-Campus Project Ideas

Here's a detailed example of an on-campus "Choose Charity" event. Recently, we visited the YAL chapter @ American University to host our own fund-raiser for Miriam's Soup Kitchen in DC. It was a lot of fun and we raised $189!

Click here to read the COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE to executing this on-campus Choose Charity event. Watch the video here:

Here are a handful of other on-campus Choose Charity ideas:

  • Organize a coat drive
  • Collect canned and boxed goods for a food bank
  • Collect blankets for a local homeless shelter
  • Organize a sponsored 5K run to benefit a charity

If you choose to do something on campus, reach out to other student organizations and encourage them to participate as well. This is a good opportunity to spread our principled message of freedom, peace, and prosperity to liberals, conservatives, and libertarians alike. Reach out to other political groups and service-oriented groups on campus and invite them to join you, such as Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, Rotary Clubs, or high schools.

Activism tip: If your event is on-campus, make sure you reserve a high-traffic area (lots of students walking by). This is a great chance expose more students to your chapter and sign up new recruits.

2. Off-Campus Project Ideas

Here's a detailed example of an "off-campus" Choose Charity event. YAL National volunteered and cooked dinner at the local Ronald McDonald House to give you a detailed example of an off-campus "Choose Charity" event.

Click here to read the COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE to executing this off-campus "Choose Charity" event. Watch the video here:

Here are a few other off-campus Choose Charity ideas:

Here are some local community resources that may help your chapter as well:

  1. Contact a nearby church.  Historically, churches that take care of the sick, poor, and lonely. Unfortunately, more Americans nowadays are finding greater faith in government. You can change that by getting in touch with a local church and asking for suggestions to volunteer your time. Large, active churches in your area will very likely have their own charitable programs -- many have food banks and coat drives around the holidays, for instance -- or, if you don't wish to work directly with a church, they may be able to direct you to an unaffiliated local charity which is in need of support or volunteers.

  2. Find a charity online. Search these websites to find a charity close to your campus:

If the charities nearby don't explicitly say online that they need volunteers, donations, or other support, give them a call or visit their offices anyway! 


If an activism event doesn't make it in the news, did it really happen? 

Earning media is always easy to achieve, even if it's your campus paper. Any media attention will reach hundreds, if not thousands, more people. So how do you earn media attention?

Use these resources to learn how you can make the campus, local, state, and maybe even national news!

For assistance with any aspect of earning media attention, email and your Regional Director will help you put together a plan. 


Get Support

Reach out to the Regional Leadership Team for Support

Need help?

Have questions?

Use these links to find the YAL State Chair and/or Regional Director for your area.  If either position has not yet been filled, 
learn more and apply to join the Leadership Team here.

You can also contact us directly at





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