To the Editor:
While I have had the great fortune of meeting many of you in person, if I have not please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jack Wellman. I am a 15-year-old sophomore at Newtown High School, and I am a member of the Newtown Lacrosse team and the Class LL Conference Championship wrestling team.
This summer, I was given the opportunity to attend a leadership camp at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia called The Ultimate Life Summit. While there, one of the main focus points impressed upon me was the importance of giving to others or “paying it forward.” The segments on paying it forward immediately spoke to me. Throughout my life, countless people have exhibited acts of kindness towards both myself and my peers, varying greatly in magnitude.
Since my time at Emory, I have put a tremendous amount of thought into what I could do to pay it forward, and at long last, I believe I have found it. From now until August 17th I will be conducting a backpack collection drive for underprivileged youth, primarily in the Danbury area.
It is my goal to collect at least 100 backpacks for these deserving children so that they will not have to once again endure the embarrassment of arriving at school with a tattered backpack, or in severe cases, none at all. Many children, especially those that believe that they will never go to college due to financial circumstances, have little to no motivation to attend school. Not having a proper backpack only further contributes to the burden that they already carry each day. It is my goal to assist as many children as possible in making their education an enjoyable experience so that one day they may reach their full potential. Starting the school year prepared feels like the perfect way to encourage other children to rise to their potential and I hope you can help me.
I am available to pick up new or gently used backpacks at your home at your convenience. Backpacks are needed for all ages. Additionally, a collection box will be stationed outside my house at 33 Boggs Hill Road. Please feel free to contact me at Jackwellman27@gmail.com or call me at 1-203-546-0479 and let me know if you have one to pick up.
Please know that with your support students will begin the school year filled with optimism. One act of kindness can and will go a long way for these children and I thank you for your support.
33 Boggs Hill Road, Newtown August 7, 2014