The first thing that might catch your eye should you visit Charity for Choice’s website is the tagline “Bringing character education to life.” This description encapsulates what this organization has been doing since 2008 when it was founded by President and C.E.O. Karen Conley. Conley describes Charity for Change as having a very distinct goal; “to cultivate confident and compassionate children who become successful learners, contribute to their communities, and participate in society as ethical, employable and responsible citizens. We strive to empower elementary school-age children to achieve their full potential through character education, giving and volunteering and academics.” So how, did this tenacious organization cross paths with The Jordan Thomas Foundation and its mission to help children affected by limb loss?
A young volunteer (who is now Vice Chair of our Board of Directors for Charity for Change) was researching charities in the very beginning of The Charity for Change Giver Program. (The Giver Program is a nationally-available program that engages over 10,000 elementary school students through web-based supplemental curriculum created by experts to support academic achievement through it’s math curriculum, while the charity and character components build self-efficacy, empathy, and citizenship skills.) The young volunteer applied specific criteria as she performed her research, having a goal to include approximately 1/3 of the world’s organizations that helped people, animals or the environment. “The Jordan Thomas story and Foundation moved all of us.” says Karen. “I think children are affected by the fact that Jordan Thomas was a young man who was a victim of a circumstance he didn’t expect and then rose to overcome the challenges. And, beyond that, he used the challenge to grow as a person and find a way to help others, particularly children. He is the perfect model of the power of giving we are striving to instill in the Giver Program children.”
When asked how The Jordan Thomas Foundation has affected the Giver Program children and
their views on other kids with limb loss, Conley responds, “They see the pictures on the website and in Jordan’s thank you letters. The pictures tell a beautiful story of how they can help others overcome challenges. Jordan’s involvement with the children takes the mystery away and brings to life the empathy and compassion.” It is evident by speaking with Karen, and knowing Jordan Thomas, these two souls are like peas in a pod, and their drive to make lives better, especially children, is the centerpiece of what propels them through life. Thank goodness for leaders like them, helping shape the hearts of tomorrow.
Any messages we can relay to Jordan Thomas?
“Please thank him for his advocacy and the inspiration he gives to all of us! I will never forget how proud that fourth grader was because Jordan took a special moment to write their class a note and tell them that THEY inspired him! He is a true leader!”
Charity for Change Giver Program available for all children around the world. It began in two schools in 2008 and finished last year in 75 locations with the addition of afterschool and summer school. The vision for Charity for Change is to empower all children to achieve their full potential. The social movement is to build a future for our children and grandchildren with a foundation built on character and compassion.
(Sources: Charity for Change: http://www.charityforchange.org )