According to 14-year-old Julien Leitner, $2 can change the world.
Last year, the Oregon teen created a charity designed to do just that. He founded the Archimedes Alliance, an organization that asks 1 million people to donate $2 for a worthy cause, he told Portland Monthly Magazine.
"It hit me that I might not be able to do something on my own, but there has to be a billion other people like me who want to make a difference but feel they can't," Leitner told the Oregonian. "I thought, 'What if everyone just pooled their resources?'"
To date, the Archimedes Alliance has raised $18,959 with a goal of $2 million. Donations are made on the organization’s website. Donors are asked to vote for one of the possible benefiting charities: Invisible Children, Outreach International or Village Reach. The charity with the most votes will receive the six-figure sum.
Leitner launched his initiative with a 100-second video describing the logic behind his lofty goal. He points to the ancient Greek mathematician, Archimedes, who said, ‘Give me a lever long enough, and a place to stand, and I can move the Earth.’
“Together, we are the lever. You are the lever. It’s time to move the Earth,” Leitner writes in a letter on the organization’s website.
Leitner has appealed to the news media to spread his message -- his candor sets him apart. He’s spoken at the Portland State University’s digital media conference, given numerous interviews and even doled out advice on how to use social media fundraise effectively, MSNBC reports.
But Leitner wants his campaign to go viral, he tells MSNBC. “What would come out of coverage like that is the Archimedes Alliance would become more self-sustaining. It would still take a lot of effort, but it would spread on its own,” he told the news outlet.
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Movie Buffs & Mall Rats
The study found that young people who go to see movies and hang out at the mall regularly are more likely to volunteer. The researchers hypothesize that this is because these activities are indicative of strong social networks.
Volunteering Varies By Region
Volunteering rates for young people are highest in the Northeast (59.6%) and lowest in the South (50.9%), and issues that teens care most about also vary by region.
Girls & Guys Have Different Motivations
While they both shared the same primary cause, girls cared more about making a difference, whereas guys were more motivated by getting into college and getting a good job.
Influence Shifts From Parents To Friends
The survey also found that high school students who volunteer are active more often than college students who volunteer.
Teens Care About Animals
Animals are the #1 issue that teens care about the most, followed by hunger and homelessness.
Communication Affects Volunteering Habits
52% of teens who text volunteer, according to the study. Teens who volunteer most (55.4%) are those who spend most of their time communicating with friends face-to-face.
Public vs. Private School
Private school students are 25% more likely to have volunteered in the past year than public school students.