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Peace Out group teaches kids it’s good to give

Members of the Peace Out group with some of the donations they collected. Peace Out is a Tacoma-based non-profit organization that helps teens learn to be philanthropists. /Courtesy photo

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Getting kids to give money away is no easy feat. Having them research an organization, build marketing materials and spend their Saturdays soliciting donations - all on their own time, no less - can be even trickier. But Peace Out, a local non-profit teen philanthropy organization founded earlier this year by University Place resident Michelle McClean and her daughter Amber, 24, is doing just that.

Peace Out seeks to raise a generation of philanthropists, Michelle said, by giving kids experience in raising and giving money to things they care about.

"What makes Peace Out fun is that you are in control," said Tylor Andrews, 16, a junior at Curtis High School in University Place and Peace Out student in his second session.  "You choose what to do. Everything is a connection."

Michelle plans to hold four sessions (and four fundraisers) each year with the Peace Out program. Enrollment in the current session is double that of the previous session, she said, as students recruit friends and family members and word gets out. Since March, Peace Out has held an art auction and carnival fundraiser, and its next event, a "Community Superheroes" fundraiser lauding members of local organizations, is scheduled for Nov. 13 at Merrill Gardens, 7290 Rosemount Circle in Tacoma.

Beneficiaries this session includes the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Fisher House. The event will feature a silent auction, with all auction items procured by the kids and proceeds benefiting the various groups. It is open to the public.

In August, Peace Out held a carnival fundraiser at which Zachary Alexander,15, raised money and gathered donations for the JBLM Fisher House. "It's a pretty awesome program," said Fisher House Manager Jodi Land. "They are great kids and it is pretty inspiring that at such a young age they are so active in making a difference in their communities."

The next session of Peace out runs Jan. 6 to Feb. 25. For more information, contact Michelle or Amber McClean at 253-691-3029 or visit

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