FAIRFIELD — Tamia Wilson continues to give back to her community.
The 17-year-old Rodriguez High School senior is wrapping up her third annual backpack and school supply drive. She calls the effort Reach One, Teach One.
Donations, and fundraisers she organizes herself, keep her dream alive.
Her goal this year is to stuff 200 backpacks. Her reward comes from the happy faces of elementary, middle and high school students who get the backpacks.
“It’s exciting to see their smiles,” she said. “They are happy to have the backpacks.”
Her mom, LaTasha Wilson, supports her daughter’s charitable giving enough to let the backpack and school supply drive take over the loft at the family’s home.
“Whatever she wants, we are here to support her,” LaTasha Wilson said.
Tamia Wilson, even though she will graduate next summer, hopes to do the drive a fourth year. College will start later that fall.
“I think I’ll change it up next year,” she said.
Trenell Montague is one of Tamia Wilson’s biggest supporters. She took the fundraising trip to Santa Cruz that was organized by Tamia Wilson.
“When we get together, it’s like a big family,” Montague said.
The Wilson family, which also includes husband and father, Douglas Wilson, did a beach cookout for the travelers. LaTasha Wilson spent the night before the trip making spaghetti and fruit salad for the beach barbecue.
“Without them (the fundraising participants), this wouldn’t happen,” LaTasha Wilson said.
Tamia Wilson got the idea from a cousin who was doing a similar charity drive with toys.
The first year, Tamia Wilson got 100 backpacks donated from Sears and filled more than half with school supplies. She and her mother watch for school supplies to go on sale and scoop them up at discounted prices to add to the backpacks.
Tamia Wilson plans to attend Spellman University in Georgia after graduation.
To help with the backpack drive, call 712-4650.
Reach Amy Maginnis-Honey at 427-6957 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/amaginnisdr.