When Philanthropy Turns into Entrepreneurship

When Philanthropy Turns into Entrepreneurship

by Susan Neuhalfen

Argyle Middle School 7th grader Darian Doyle was in a unique situation. His recent induction into the AMS National Junior Honor Society required him to complete 30 hours of public service work. While that might not seem like a lot, remember that many places won’t allow 13 year-old volunteers.

Instead of looking at this as a challenge, Darian looked at it as an opportunity. As a result, this student has found a way to not only serve his community but also to raise money for a cause that is very important to him and his family. He’s doing all of this while he’s learning one of life’s most important lessons: how to run a business.

One Monday night, Darian was at the AYSA/Liberty Christian youth sports programs on the soccer field watching his younger siblings play and his father coach. He quickly realized that there was no concession stand there for families so he had the idea to start one.

“Before he asked permission, I had him put together a business plan,” said Darian’s father Marcus, a business owner in Argyle. “Once he began looking at it as a business, his whole perspective changed.”

In his business plan he had to figure out what supplies he needed as well as how he would get the money to start the business. His dad loaned him the tent / canopy and coolers and Darian figured out how he would pay for supplies. The biggest drain on his budget was how much ice he would need, so Darian talked to the manager of Fuzzy’s and they agreed to donate the ice from their machine so he wouldn’t lose all of his profits in ice.

Darian got permission from both organizations to open his business, “Double D Concessions”, for 6 weeks (each Monday night). After school Darian has football practice so Mondays are very busy. He goes straight from school to football practice and then to the soccer field to first put up the goals and get the fields set up and then he runs his concession stand. After that is done, around 8pm, he starts on his homework.

“He keeps a log of everything he’s sold so he knows exactly how much money he made,” said Marcus. “Every penny of it will go to the new Denton County Veterans Center.”

Choosing the beneficiary was probably the easiest thing for Darian. His father and grandfather were both veterans and so he visited the center to meet with the staff and see exactly what it is that they need. While it’s easy to just write a check, he was curious to know how the money would be used. They told him it would be used to purchase bus passes, gas cards and bicycle locks.

Donating to the DCVC not only fit in with his community service goals, but with the way he was raised.

“We’re a big giving family,” said Marcus. “We’re firm believers that you don’t have to wear a uniform to serve.”

The experience has been invaluable and to think it all stemmed from a school commitment.

“The best part is that at the end of all of this, he’ll know how to run a business as well,” said his father.


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