Interscholastic and charitable philanthropy implemented with Generation Give

Sacred Heart Greenwich and Rye Country Day School students join forces to aid community causes


Charlotte Burchetta '22

Ellie Stephens and Reese Wolfe expanded Generation Give from Rye Country Day School to Sacred Heart Greenwich.

Rye Country Day School (RCDS) juniors Reese Wolfe and Ellie Stephens co-founded the project Generation Give in early 2020.  Generation Give consists of various giving circles, made up of high school students from multiple schools in Westchester and Fairfield County, including King School, Rye High School, Sacred Heart Greenwich, and RCDS.  The organization meets to discuss, research, and support various charities.  Sacred Heart juniors Charlotte Fallon and Annie Hamilton are working with Reese and Ellie to expand the organization beyond their schools and into the broader community.

A giving circle is a group of people who decide together where to allocate their charitable donations, according to  Other giving circles, such as Impact100 and Generation Impact, inspired Reese and Ellie to participate in philanthropy groups.  As they were not eligible to join any of the giving circles in their area, Reese and Ellie decided to begin their own giving circle at their school.  They later introduced and established Generation Give across different schools in the tri-state area.

Generation Give defines itself as a giving circle, which is a group of people who decide where to allocate their charitable donations.  Courtesy of

Members of Generation Give work primarily to address current societal challenges.  Once the group selects an issue, they break into smaller teams to research institutes that benefit the respective cause.  Each group then presents their organization in a larger meeting to all of the Generation Give divisions, hoping the other members choose their organization for the partnership.  After the members of the group select which organization they will support, they reach out to local nonprofits for fundraising assistance for the chosen organization.

Expanding Generation Give to other schools allows members to join without the requirement of providing donations.  Reese and Ellie want anybody who is interested in the club to be able to join, support, and contribute to the organization, even if they cannot provide financial assistance.

Before a complete extension to other schools, the new organization plans to utilize the resources and mediums provided by RCDS to assist their endeavors.  For example, the school facilitates events such as bake sales at school and allots time for the organization to do research on nonprofits during the school day.  Reese believes that with this foundation and support, Generation Give will be able to expand to other schools.  Additionally, increasing recognition of the club in the community establishes a variety of opportunities and skills for the members.

“We aim to eventually form clubs at a variety of schools,” Reese said.  “While the group’s primary goal is to financially benefit those in need, members learn about issues in our community, consensus-building skills, financial literacy, and the fund-gathering process.”

In an effort to begin the expansion of Generation Give to other schools, Ellie and Reese reached out to their lifelong friends Charlotte and Annie at Sacred Heart, who accepted the offer to start their own branch of the organization as a club at Sacred Heart.  Charlotte and Annie attended Generation Give’s preliminary event January 9, 2020, where they went through the process of finding an organization for the first time.  About 20 high schoolers came together to research local food banks, and eventually decided to support the Carver Center, a food bank in Port Chester, New York, as their initial settlement.

Generation Give has adapted to a virtual setting, after meeting a few times in person last year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In Zoom meetings, the club has targeted specific issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, such as hunger, health care, and more precise concerns, such as domestic violence and homeless shelters.  The group concluded April 1, 2020 that they would further research the topic of hunger and provide financial support to the Carver Center.  The team then collected donations, raising over $1,100 to support the organization’s current efforts.

RCDS and Sacred Heart will begin joint meetings when the team finds its next organization to support.  Currently, Charlotte and Annie, two of the organization’s presidents, are working to make Generation Give an official club at Sacred Heart.  Juniors Ava Cobb and Caitlyn Petrizzo also support the organization.  Ava is one of the newswriters who updates the news section of the website following meetings and events, and Caitlyn engages the organization’s Instagram following as one of the heads of social media.

Generation Give chose the Carver Center, a nonprofit based in Port Chester, New York, after their first meeting in April 2020.  Courtesy of Reese Wolfe

Charlotte, Annie, and Reese believe that they have benefited from joining Generation Give.  In particular, Reese feels that she has improved her leadership, social, and organizational skills through connecting with the group and contacting potential organizations for partnership.  Annie acknowledges her gratitude for the new perspective Generation Give gave her on issues outside of the Sacred Heart community.

“Generation Give has taught me what it means to give back to my community,” Annie said.  “It has also helped me to learn that we, as high schoolers can make an impact. We are very fortunate to go to a school like Sacred Heart and it is easy to forget what is going on in the world around us, but generation give has helped me to become more educated about the problems other people face.”

Featured Image by Charlotte Burchetta ’22