Giving Tuesday 2017:Giving Is Our Goal

This Tuesday is Giving Tuesday, the annual day of giving that follows Thanksgiving’s celebration gratitude and Black Friday’s celebration of shopping. It’s a day that’s all about celebrating giving, and at buildOn we always have plenty to celebrate.

Our entire buildOn methodology is centered on giving, so we love Giving Tuesday. But for us, giving isn’t about making handouts — it’s about empowering people to help their communities and themselves by serving others. That’s why we don’t give schools to villages in developing countries; instead, we partner with communities and empower them to give their own service to build schools. In cities throughout the U.S., we are helping teens better themselves and lift up their own neighborhoods by empowering them to give service to those most in need.

gttrekbuildOn students from U.S. cities are giving to their own communities with buildOn, while serving alongside people in the world’s economically poorest countries to build schools.

This year has seen an overwhelming amount of giving from buildOn’s Global Programs. Nearly every other day, a community in one of the world’s economically poorest countries broke ground on a new school with us, completing more than 160 schools this year to date. Of the 155,000 children, parents and grandparents who currently attend our 1,216 schools across the globe, each one is there because of service given by her community. And this one act of giving for the sake of education has ripple effects throughout each village. “buildOn’s approach to the work itself brought about a revival in the community,” says Lickness Banda, a farmer who helped build a school with us in her village in Malawi. “People have started working in harmony since construction began.”

malawigtYiwonda, a student in Kamtsiro, Malawi, sits in her new classroom with her father who helped construct it with his village and buildOn.

In the U.S., students we worked with in underserved high schools gave an inspiring amount of service to their communities this year. They served at soup kitchens and homeless shelters, volunteered with kids with disabilities, and spent time with homebound seniors. In total they gave more than 185,000 hours of service helping people in their communities over the last school year. They even traveled overseas with us, helping to build schools with communities in developing countries. With 97% graduating from their high schools, and 88% going on to college, they leave high school equipped to continue to give back to their communities and our world. For students like Sonya Carson, getting out and serving means she can give her Boston community what she thinks it needs most — hope and healing. “When buildOn students serve, we give people hope which is the key to healing,” Sonya says. “You need to believe that you can get better for it to happen. I know that service means hope to our community.”

This Giving Tuesay, follow the lead of Sonya and our buildOn students and get out and give back to your community. You can also help buildOn empower global giving all year long by donating on Giving Tuesday — check out some great reasons why. (HINT: Your donation will be matched!)

buildOn students are reaching out to people in need in their communities — giving help, giving compassion, and giving hope.sandwich