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.
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!
We've got you covered.
YAL offers FREE resources to every chapter to participate in Choose Charity:
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
Here are some local community resources that may help your chapter as well:
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.
Find a charity online. Search these websites to find a charity close to your campus: