Many high schools across the nation have clubs and organizations that promote community service, volunteer work, and charitable donations, but few of them combine those three things to make a difference on the international level. West Ranch High School in Santa Clarita, California, recently launched a new club to support the nonprofit organization GlobalGiving, which provides resources and small loans to entrepreneurs, budding talent, and heads of families in other nations.
The microloan concept employed by GlobalGiving has gained popularity on the philanthropic scene, and more organizations like Kiva and World Vision are incorporating the idea in their services. As the name suggests, microloans are small, short-term loans with low interest rates.
West Ranch GlobalGiving has its own account on the nonprofit’s website, and club Vice President Katherine Noble says students choose people to loan to on a monthly basis or whenever they have enough money to make a transaction.
Many people are featured on the website, asking for small loans of several hundred dollars to boost their small grocery stores and shoe polishing businesses or to start sustainable agriculture plots. West Ranch GlobalGiving enjoys focusing mostly on children’s education by loaning to fledgling elementary and middle schools.
In an interview with JSR, webmaster and public relations officer Trisha Magpantay noted, “All of the projects on the [website] are good. But I especially like the ones that support schools because supporting children is important, and it fits because we are a school club.”
The club raises money to loan by redeeming recyclable bottles that they collect from around campus. If all the teachers participate, this turns out to be approximately $200 a month. The club also hosts occasional garage sales at officers’ homes, making posters and advertising well in advance. These garage sales’ profits range from $100-$500.
The club originated with the officers’ desire to pioneer a more creative and original type of organization on campus, and they are trying to spread the concept to schools in the district. By focusing on the more distant issues that have not yet been addressed by organizations at West Ranch, the members of GlobalGiving club have successfully reached out to a new audience at their school, working to educate them on global issues and get them involved in their mission.