(Garland ISD) June 11, 2013 – For Luna Elementary student Tucker Burgin, it’s never too early to start preparing for next school year. During the last two months of 2012-13, the fourth grader organized a backpack and school supply donation drive. But Burgin wasn’t preparing for fifth grade. He wanted to make sure that local foster children have a successful start to 2013-14.
“I want them to have everything they need,” Burgin said. “When foster kids go to new homes, they have to leave everything behind. The backpacks and supplies are so they don’t feel sad or different when they start school.”
Growing up in a family that believes in charity, Burgin has donated food, clothing and toys for as long as he can remember. His family’s most recent outreach effort was giving Christmas gifts to Buckner Children’s Home. That’s where Burgin’s father found out about a group called Hope Keepers—children who raise awareness about foster care and work to fulfill the needs of Buckner residents.
“My dad asked me if I wanted to join,” commented Burgin. “I felt like I could help a lot of people.”
Meeting every six weeks, Burgin found out about the need for school supplies on his third visit. He immediately spoke with Luna’s principal and assistant principal about asking schoolmates and teachers for donations. Burgin was encouraged to put a collection box at the front of the campus. He also partnered with classmate Dalessandro Rios to create a video explaining his cause.
With a Hope Keepers goal of filling 140 backpacks by the end of the summer, Burgin has already helped the group reach 40. And his efforts aren’t going unnoticed. The Garland Kohl’s store named Burgin its 2013 Kohl’s Cares Scholarship winner. The program recognizes and rewards young volunteers for contributions they make to their communities. Receiving a certificate and $50 Kohl’s gift card, Burgin will also advance to the regional round of competition for a chance to win $1,000.
“I appreciate what everyone did for me,” he said. “It means a lot that the whole school came together as one big group. I hope the backpacks and school supplies change a foster kid’s life. This experience has made me more grateful for what I have.”
By Tiffany Graber, Garland ISD Communications Specialist.
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