We envision a more compassionate world, and believe that encouraging and making it easier for kids, teens, and families to engage in volunteer service builds empathy, compassion, communication, and teamwork. These skills are not necessarily taught in every school, but are crucial for life-long success and essential for tomorrow’s leaders.
Our mission is to connect youth to meaningful and age-appropriate service to help those in need while cultivating empathy and lifelong community leadership.
We develop interactive tools to connect young people to age-appropriate volunteer service. Our tools are:
- Fun, useful, and easy for kids and teens to use
- Reliable and convenient for busy families
- Helpful for teachers and program leaders encouraging service among youth
- Practical (and free) for nonprofits looking to engage the compassion and energy of young volunteers
How we started
Our founder, Molly Yuska, has always known the importance of kids and teens engaging in service. As a busy mom of four, she knew it wasn’t always very easy to find those opportunities for her kids, and even more impossible for her kids to find those opportunities on their own.
With a master’s degree in nonprofit management and a growing family, Molly co-founded a philanthropy group at her church outside Boston to make it easier for families with young children to engage in more service activities, but knew she wanted to make this project available to a much wider audience. She also knew that connecting busy families via technology was the best way to reach most of them. Project Giving Kids was launched in 2013, with a goal to fill that need.
Watch a video about how Molly’s kids inspired her to start PGK!
Our History & Our Future
After testing our first website in the Boston area in late 2013 and much of 2014, we started growing. PGK officially launched onto the Los Angeles scene in spring 2015 and had the opportunity to expand to Silicon Valley in 2017, the same year we launched our first mobile app, YouthGive. In 2018, we opened up our program to the whole San Francisco Bay Area and have continued to onboard nonprofits and users in new regions as that interest has grown. In 2019, we launched the Give Back App, an all-new, totally redesigned, teen-centered mobile app to follow causes, choose activities, rack up points for badges and prizes, and track service hours.
In 2016, we also launched our signature program called Create the Change®, a high-impact, in-person community service event in our key markets. In 2020, we moved to a virtual model when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and became a leader in virtual service programming at a time when in-person volunteering came to a grinding halt.
Over the past few years, we have also developed rich content to support those working with youth – from K-12 spiraled lesson plans on our ten causes, to animated video shorts that present our ten causes areas through an ethics lens, to books lists and resources to help dig deeper.
After ten years and with our new executive director, Mara Kaiser Braunger, at the helm, we are looking to reimagine how we can best serve youth, families, and those working with youth in our current and new geographies in the years ahead through our platform, our programming, and our movement to make service a part of every child’s childhood and a lifelong habit for all.
*At Project Giving Kids, we believe in transparency and in being good stewards of the dollars entrusted to us for fulfillment of our mission. If you would like to see a copy of our most recent 990, conflict of interest policy or other financial/governing documents, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.