The donor: Zeke Blumenkrans
The gift: Creating Generocksity
The reason: To engage young people in philanthropy
When Zeke Blumenkrans was volunteering at Canuck Place, a Vancouver-based children's hospice, he met a teenager named David who had cancer and wanted to raise money for the hospice.
Mr. Blumenkrans, who was 19 at the time, brought together some friends and they organized a concert that raised around $2,500 for the hospice. David died before the concert, but the event touched a number of people and they encouraged Mr. Blumenkrans to get more involved in philanthropy.
"They said we were on to something, that there was some sort of void in the philanthropic culture with regard to young adults," Mr. Blumenkrans, now 22, recalled from his home in Vancouver.
In 2013, he launched Generocksity at the University of British Columbia. The non-profit organization hosts fundraising concerts, holds workshops on philanthropy and arranges volunteers for local charities. So far the group has raised a total of $93,000 for several charities, and it has expanded to six other university campuses in Canada and New York.
"It's been an incredibly humbling experience for me," said Mr. Blumenkrans, who graduated from UBC and is planning to go to medical school. "And, contrary to popular culture, being a philanthropist doesn't necessarily mean that you have to be an old white guy with a monocle who has millions of dollars to spend. You can just be a kid that wants to give back on a weekend."