There is no question that the landscape of how we interact with one another has changed dramatically over the past 20 years. We are truly living in a global society where information is transmitted instantly across cities, states, oceans and enormous mountain ranges. With a click of a button we can access pretty much anything we could possibly desire. Children born in the last 20 years are the most connected, educated and sophisticated generation to date. According to one article, “These kids are savvy, bold and eager to do good. Like it or not, they’re poised to shake up philanthropy”. We at Butterfly Effect couldn’t agree more!
In January I was was visiting my son oldest son Krystian in Lugano, Switzerland. Of course I had to Drop butterflies in this beautiful city in the heart of Europe. Butterflies were Dropped near Franklin University, an American University which boasts of a high commitment to international and cross-cultural education. The student populations is highly diverse and the grounds are breathtaking, the perfect mix for an interesting Drop. Although what I thought to be a cool place to Drop with a potential facsinating story, turned into something that exceeded my expectations.
Amanda Brown and Michele de Leon are students at Franklin University who were impacted at an early age by adults in their lives to give back to their community.
Amanda was mentored by a high school philosophy teacher who inspired her to take action with environmental programs in Central Florida. Seeing the impact that one person could have on the community motivated her to take giving back to the next level. She has volunteered with non-profits in Africa and India, allowing her desire for service and change to reach remote parts of the globe. Michelle’s mom was a nurse who modeled a heart of generosity to people in need. After taking a trip to the Dominican Republic to help a local village with building an aquaduct and assisting in an after school program, Michelle realized that shecan make a difference in the world if she takes action.
Both girls acknowledge that many kids their age want to give back and volunteering is a great way, but often times kids have limited resources to contribute financially to organizations they’re passionate about helping. After finding the butterflies on their college campus they were so thrilled at being able to give $250 to organizations they love (www.benjaminwalkins.com/ & www.reef.org), both girls asked if they could continue dropping butterflies so that their fellow students could also have the oportunity to give. Thus Butterfly Effect at Franklin University was born!
The 2014-15 academic year is wrapping up at Franklin and the fifth butterfly was Dropped this week. Amanda and Michele described their experience with Butterfly Effect as inspiring positivity on campus and offering a positive distraction from the stress of academic life. “It’s allowed us to zoom out and adopt a different perspective with each Drop”, say the girls. “Taking the time to create has given us a much needed release.” Each butterfly Dropped was designed by the girls and contains an inspirational quote from someone they admire. Hemingway, Socrates and Carl Sagan offered up their voices from the past to promote enthusiasm to donate creatively. “The downstream effect has been cool to see.” said Michelle.
This group of students represent a fraction of the worlds student population, but we at Butterfly Effect think they highlight the fact that young people are deeply connected to the issues that impact our globe. The next generation of philanthropists are going to Be the Change that we all want to see in our world.