(Orlando Sentinel)  When it comes to philanthropy, age doesn’t matter.  Just consider eleven-year-old Winter Vinecki, whose nonprofit organization, Team Winter, was one of the two official charities at the Orlando IronKids triathlon at Disney World this year, raising over $200,000 for prostate cancer research.  Ms. Vinecki’s father died of prostate cancer at the age of 40, and she has since made it her mission to fund research that will benefit others who suffer from cancer.  Her work is impressive, but it is especially noteworthy coming from a person who isn’t even old enough to vote.  Similarly, Brandon Wood fights for animal rights by blogging, writing letters, and setting up outreach efforts.  He was even recently honored by a Save the Chimps gala in New York, and he is only 9 years old.  Living the life of a young philanthropist does have its downside–parents are concerned that their children are in the spotlight too much, gaining unwanted attention–but all in all, it speaks volumes about the next generation’s charitable tendencies.  Mr. Mickie Rinehart, director of field operations for The League, noted, “This is a giving generation–and we’re seeing it as young as kindergarten.  Part of it is a reflection of what’s going on in the country.  We’re led by a president who made promoting service one of his priorities.  And part of it is that kids today are much more connected to each other and what’s going on in the world.  It empowers them.”

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