High School Help

About two years ago, while I was raking leaves at the Butterfly Cottage, a visitor stopped to talk. The visitor was the Career Liaison for the Tamalpais Unified School District. He came by to see if the Center was interested offering internships to high school students. This was fortuitous, as I had just been wondering how I could reach students to volunteer here. “Yes, please,” I replied. 

This watercolor of the Butterfly Cottage was painted by a talented intern!

Well, it wasn’t long before students began arriving, two at a time, for four hours a week for three months, from Archie Williams, Redwood, and Tam high schools. Unbeknownst to me, the students shared their experience with teachers and other students, and word spread that MAGC was a good place to intern and volunteer. Now we help students fulfill community service requirements as well as interning.

Another intern enjoyed arranging flowers, which we displayed in the WERKSTATT Pop-Up.

I try to follow each student’s interests and find work that suits them. Fortunately we have no shortage of interesting work. 

These young people bring a positive attitude, and a sense of adventure and earnestness. They are willing to work and learn. Each of them has a unique skill set they share with us, and often, I learn as much from them as they do from me.

Recently, a friend was complaining about “kids these days.” I stopped him to tell him that I have hope for the future of our world because of the young people I’ve worked with; because of my sons and their friends. Giving young people a positive adult role model creates positive adults. We may be doing garden work, but we are also doing life work.

More to explore

IRS Guidelines for Gifts from Donor Advised Funds to Support MAGC Events

Thank you for your interest in giving to the Marin Art & Garden Center events from your Donor Advised Fund (DAF) or Family Foundation.

We sincerely appreciate your generosity and support!

To ensure your gift follows the current IRS guidelines for DAF/Family Foundation support of an event, we would like to share the below guidelines with you.

  • Raffle tickets, tickets to galas and other special events, auction items, and benefits conferred in connection with a DAF/foundation grant are not permitted.
    • IRS has specifically ruled that fair market value associated with fundraising events cannot be separated, a practice known as “bifurcation.”
      • For example, with Edible Garden, if the price of the ticket is $200 and the FMV fair market value (non-tax-deductible amount) is designated to be $50, the donor must pay from sources other than her DAF/foundation for the full value of the ticket ($200) and not just for the non-tax-deductible amount ($50).
    • We recommend you confer with your financial advisor to confirm if any of these examples of how donors may still use their DAF to support an event would work for you:
      • A donor could sponsor the event, and not attend, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event using DAF/foundation funds and attend by purchasing an individual ticket through non-DAF/foundation funds.
      • A donor could sponsor the event, join the event as a guest of another donor/table guest, and pay fully out of the DAF/foundation.
      • A donor could sponsor the event and host the afforded number of people at their chosen level as long as they pay for the seats at the lowest ticket price ($200 for Edible Garden) outside of their DAF.
        • As an example, a $1,500 sponsor that covers 2 guests, could pay for their sponsorship with $400 from a different source of funds, and then give an additional gift of $1,100 out of their DAF.


Please email Tod Thorpe, Director of Development at tod.thorpe@maringarden.org to discuss your gift to Marin Art and Garden Center