In the Potter family, fifth birthdays are a rite of passage. Prior to each child’s fifth birthday, he or she selflessly selects a favorite charity or nonprofit organization to support. Starting that year, instead of asking for gifts for his or her birthday, the child asks that friends and family donate any money that they would spend on gifts to the organization of his or her choice.
Briged and Callan Potter have chosen the South Carolina Aquarium Sea Turtle Rescue Program as their charity of choice for five and four years, respectively. They are glad to sacrifice the toys and trinkets that usually come with another year’s celebration in exchange for the positive impact that comes from being a part of something greater than themselves.
The young philanthropists’ parents, Tricia and Steve, guide their children to start giving early in life so that the kids can understand their role in their community and their world. “The kids can see how the small choices that they make can cause a big impact,” Tricia says. “They learn that they have opinions that count. It helps to build their character.”
When Briged and Callan’s birthdays roll around each year and they make their requests in lieu of gifts, they create momentum among the people that care about them and channel it into something progressive, something that they can build upon for a lifetime. As they share their favorite causes with the people they love, they are empowered to be a force in their community.
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