Will Sears, who just finished seventh grade at Kyrene Altadena Middle School, admits he wasn’t sure what “altruistic” meant, but now he not only knows what it is – he lives it.
Will is one of 90 seventh- to 12th-grade boys in Boys Team Charity Ahwatukee, a group started just a year ago by parents who wanted their sons to have an opportunity to learn about giving back to their community.
The Ahwatukee chapter of the nonprofit national organization got its start in March 2017, when some parents were casually conversing about how they would like their sons to be part of a group much like the National Charity League – which is aimed at girls.
“The conversation we had that Friday afternoon culminated with us agreeing to reach out to other parents to get their input on starting an Ahwatukee chapter of the BTC,” recalled Todd Heaton, BTC Ahwatukee president and father of 13-year-old twins Sam and Sophie, the latter active in the National Charity League.
Heaton said the response to the invitation for boys and their parents to join Boys Team Charity Ahwatukee was initially strong – and continues to grow as more families become aware of the opportunity to serve their community while building self-esteem and commitment.
“By May 2017 – just two months after we had the idea of forming – Boys Team Charity of Ahwatukee grew from 17 to 50 boys,” said Heaton. “We now have 90 boys and 130 member families. It’s been massively successful.”
There is an annual minimum for “Philanthropy Service Hours,” and it applies to parents and their sons. For middle-schoolers, it is 15 hours, while 10 hours of minimum service is required for high school sophomores through seniors.
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