A group of students from Farmington and Farmington Hills worked hard for five weeks this summer, then gave half of the money they made to local charities.
As part of LOC Federal Credit Union's 5-year-old financial literacy program, the students met at Farmington Community Library, which cosponsors the program, with the goal of exercising their entrepreneurial skills. Maddi Carpenter-Crawford, 10, packaged catnip. And she understands what it means to be an "entrepreneur".
"It's when you own your own business, you have to pay your employees and pay for materials, and then you get to sell your product," she said.
All 27 of the students involved poured "their energy, time and creativeness" into it, said Beth Cooke, a marketing specialist with LOC. She said the students voted on the organizations that would receive their funds; the Michigan Humane Society and Neighborhood House in Farmington Hills received $400 and $100, respectively.
Nicole Senczyszyn, who coordinates events for the Humane Society, accepted the check on behalf of the animals who "can't speak for themselves". "They will eat the money you're giving us," she told the children.
Loretta Zahn of Neighborhood House said seniors and people of all ages who are homeless or struggling financially will be helped by the donation. "We have a lot of people come in with kids your age," she said.
LOC's Vice President of Marketing Debbie Vigliarolo said the students are actually paid with play money for the work they do. With some of it, they're able to purchase small trinkets, the other half goes to the charities they select.
"We always try to include a good lesson, so they get more than just the financial literacy," she said.
The theme for the financial literacy program changes every year; next year's is budgeting.