Naples Journal January 2011

The following is a reproduction of an article which appeared in the January 2011 issue of Naples Journal.

Orange Orangutan Inspires Young Philanthropists 

By Robin DeMattia


Giver Gives, a 6-foot orangutan mascot, looms larger than life and is the friendly face that inspires Collier elementary  school children to learn  about   their  community, philanthropy  and giving back.


He is: the mascot of Charity for Change, a Naples­ based charity that reinforces character traits such as cooperation, respect, responsibility and kindness while encouraging children to raise money for local charities.


Initiated    during    the    2008-09   school    year, the School   "Giver" Program    now   includes   four elementary schools and more than 3,000 students. During  the 2009-10 school year,    the students at Calusa  Park, Golden  Terrace,   Lake Park and Lely  elementary schools raised  $16,037.02 for  72 charities. All the money raised by the students goes to the charities; Charity for Change's operations are funded solely by individual donations, foundation grants, business partners and civic organizations.


During five six-week  sessions throughout the year, each classroom selects a charity to support and a monetary goal to achieve. Each class typically raises between $20 and $40 for each charity. Each session has a charity theme: Food/Shelter/Emergency, Health, Animal Welfare, Art/Education/Environment and School Choice.


The  charities  who  receive  the funds  are  invited to  visit  the classrooms and  discuss  the  work  they do. Over 50 classrooms were visited by charity representatives during the last charity session.


The students are rewarded for their positive behavior and good citizenship with prizes donated by the charities and local businesses. Students are also awarded with special certificates signed by Giver for exhibiting the character trait of the month.


Because all the funds the children raise go directly to the charities, Charity for Change relies on donations to run its operations. Donations to Charity for Change provide items such as goal-setting posters, charity banks for the classrooms, incentive prizes, custom math game and puzzle development, puppets and puppet theaters, and character development skits.


Donations can be made on-line at or by calling 239.592.6787.


U2Can Giver Visitors Pass