MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS)-- For 17-year-old Thomas Wright of Mequon, more time at home meant the opportunity to find a way to make a difference.
“I felt a little restless and I wanted to help out in a way I saw fit,” said the University School of Milwaukee junior.
Nearly a month into doing school online and keeping up with pandemic updates, Wright identified a need in the area that he took upon himself to help with.
“I came to realize that at a lot of schools particularly those in the MPS with libraries closed and schools closed, a lot of families, unfortunately, didn’t have access to learning materials," he said.
He decided to run a book and art supply drive for Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) families, giving parents a hand at their new homeschooling journey.
“Not only is it I guess filling the void of learning and creativity, but it is also to relieve a lot of pressure from parents too just because it’s not easy for parents to have the kids around the house, its hard work especially if they’re younger," Wright added.
He contacted MPS officials who gave him the green light to begin his drive. He quickly spread the word within the University School of Milwaukee community, receiving a significant amount of support.
“I received a lot of positive feedback I sent it out last Wednesday and in the past week or so I sent reminders.
It went on our school’s news page and when I sent the communication I went to parents, faculty, and students," he shared.
Within a short period, he collected three SUVs full of books and art supplies. Wright delivered them to the MPS administrative building in Milwaukee's west side on Friday.
He is excited to know the items are one step closer to getting in the hands of students.
“I’m happy with the turnout I mean this wouldn’t have happened without all the families that participated.
I don’t wanna take all the credit because I was just the one that facilitated it. At the heart of it, it’s the people that wanna make a difference," Wright added.
He hopes these books and crafts can turn into a lifetime hobby, such as his life-long love for reading. A hobby he gets to enjoy more of these days.
“I still like to read and I’m using my hobby in a way that can serve others which I’m very happy about," he finished.
MPS will be in charge of organizing and distributing the items to families in the school district.