CINCINNATI -- Volunteering comes from the heart for Lauren Ziegler, an 11th grader at the Children's Home of Cincinnati.
"I don't want anything in return," she said. "I just love helping others."
She and her classmates, all of whom have autism, donate their time each month at the Free Store Food Bank and Matthew 25 Ministries, and they'll be making another sizable donation Tuesday night.
Not a donation of time, though. Ziegler will step onstage to deliver a check for $1,000 to Cincy Kids for Kids -- a contribution made possible by her school's participation in a program called Magnified Giving.
Magnified Giving is a Cincinnati-based not-for-profit organization that encourages students to become miniature philanthropists by investing in organizations they care about. Magnified Giving gives participating teachers $1,000 that their students then decide to invest in a local cause or organization that means something to them.
According to the program's website, it encourages responsible and effective philanthropy by requiring students to research prospective recipients and decide as a class where the money ought to go.
In the case of Ziegler's class, there were too many good causes to settle on just one, so they'll also be giving smaller donations to Great Parks of Hamilton County and Buckeye Search and Rescue.
It's heartwarming, said Ziegler's teacher April Carter.
"Our students feel like they don't have much to offer, but yet we do," she said. "We have our time, talent and our treasure."
Magnified Giving is able to provide $1,000 to each of the 80 participating classes thanks to the donors who fund it. If you're interested in becoming a donor, you can visit the program’s website.