The VING Project—which was named after the end of the world “giving”— is giving teenagers a chance to give back to a deserving adult in their lives.
To receive money from the organisation, US residents aged 14 to 18 need to nominate an adult who is experiencing financial hardship. Although this person cannot be a relative, applicants can nominate anyone else who would benefit from the tax-free $1,000 check and can receive the check in person.
Once a deserving adult has been identified, the applicant needs to record a two-minute video and submit it online. If chosen, the teenager will be notified within 30 days. The foundation will then help the applicant plan an unforgettable surprise for the adult in need.
Founded by Liz Lefkofsky, the wife of Groupon co-founder Eric Lefkofsky, the VING Project gave away $250,000 in April 2020 alone.
“Those kids ten, fifteen years from now, they will remember that they got to do something powerful and impactful in a crazy difficult time,” Lefkofsky told WGN-TV.
In recent months, these checks have gone to high school sports coaches, co-workers, out-of-work neighbors and friends dealing with loss.
“It gives you hope, cause they’re the next generation and there is such goodness,” Lefkofsky said.
Morgan Rank from Illinois nominated the Farmer family, who have been her friends for over a decade, after the death of a loved one.
“Their dad recently passed away two weeks ago from a freak heart attack and the family could use all the love and support they can get at this time,” Rank said in her video, which was displayed by WGN-TV.
Recipient Kathi Jo Farmer was deeply touched by the experience, saying it gave her hope for the future.
“We live in this world where there is a pandemic going on and that type of kindness shows that there are people out there who do things for more than just themselves and an act of kindness goes beyond words,” Farmer said.
The VING Project is planning to double these donations to give more teenagers an opportunity to support a loved one.
Applicants can nominate one adult a month. There are no cut-off dates, no strings attached and, as of now, no limit to the funds the foundation plans to give.