“It’s more than just raising money, it’s about changing the world,” said Preston Wood, sixth-grader at Creative Montessori Academy.
When Creative Montessori Academy asked for school supply donations, Preston knew he had to help his friends who might not be able to afford new supplies.
On September 16, 2019, he walked into the school with 11 boxes of school supplies to be donated. The supplies included: pencil bags, folders, erasers, glue sticks, stickers and even backpacks. He had earned $150 through chores with an app called BusyKid. After he completed a chore, a certain amount of money would be put into an account for him. Through this app he would receive a designated amount of money that he was able to personally decide what to do with. Preston decided that he would not keep a dime of it for himself, and instead would use it to buy school supplies for his school.
After hearing about Preston’s initial school supply donation, we heard more stories about how this incredible eleven-year-old continues to give back to his community. We found out that he has helped numerous people at a variety of organizations*.
He calls his mission Preston’s Pals & Peeps and provides assistance and makes changes in his community and beyond. He provides food, clothing, school supplies, cleaning products, personal hygiene items, and more, to homeless people, to veterans and their families, to children and adults with illnesses or disabilities, to victims of catastrophes and beyond. He also raises funds to donate to research and cures.
He was born with a hearing impairment which created a profound desire to help others, especially those with disabilities.
“I understand that most charities and organizations support one specific cause, but I want to help everyone and support different causes. My mission is to make a difference in the lives of people around me. I hope to make a positive impact in the world, one cause at a time.”
“Preston’s involvement with helping others stems from having him at a Food Bank from the time he was in a baby swing, up to (almost) when he started school. He saw firsthand what a giving heart looked like,” Toni, Preston’s mom, said.
His first active participation in serving others started in preschool when he asked his mom what he could do to make a difference. She got creative and they started to donate his books to children and classrooms. This led to purchasing bargain books each year to donate and gift to others.
“This wasn’t enough, so he started asking to do more; from benefit walks, to visiting the homeless, to donating toys to hospitals, and it just kept growing,” said Toni, “I knew at that moment I had a world-changer on my hands and that we were going to have to support him and give him the tools to make a difference.”
How does he raise all this money? He does it by collecting bottles through pop can drives, and he uses the BusyKid app to gain money through chores. He also does lawn work and collects donations.
Preston is a world-changer. We couldn’t be more proud of all the people he has been able to influence and impact. He is an incredible boy with an incredible story.
Read Preston’s story on the News-Herald: http://www.thenewsherald.com/downriver_life/southgate-sixth-grader-on-a-mission-to-change-the-world/article_82916900-fc04-11e9-b31c-f32ad221088a.html
The following are just some of the causes that he has supported either by himself or in partnership with other people or organizations:
Collected cans, bottles and donations, did chores and saved money to purchase 11 boxes of school supplies and backpacks for Creative Montessori Academy.
Over 1,500 pairs of socks will be distributed to children with autism, homeless families, foster children, children at my school, veterans and others in need in the Downriver Community with collections and a generous donation from Bombas Socks.
*CHILDREN’S CANCER RESEARCH FUND:
Raised $500+ through sponsorships pledging to pedal 100 miles in the 2019 Great Cycle Challenge.
Cash donations through participation in the PKSA Karate break-a-thon and bottle drive.
*AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION:
Donated money by participating in the Kids Heart Challenge.
* EMPLOYMENT SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES:
Organized and collected 50+ large garbage bags and boxes of used clothing and donations and donated them to S.T.E.P. who Services to Enhance Potential and operates a thrift store, providing work opportunities to individuals with barriers to employment, impacting over 100 local disabled individuals each year.
*CHRISTNET (a group of churches working together to help the homeless and provide shelter during the cold weather and more):
-Donated items, visited families, did arts and crafts and served meals on multiple occasions on my own and then also with the Cub Scout Troop..
*CHILDREN WITH HEARING LOSS:
-Collected sponsorships for the Walk for Hearing benefitting Michigan Hands and Voices, supporting families of children who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing, as well as the professionals who serve them.
-Mentored children who just received hearing aids.
Raised money and awareness by walking in the Annual Out of Darkness Walk.
Helped package over 150 turkeys and all the fixings that were delivered to local Downriver veterans and their families, the elderly and other families in need. He has personally delivered to eight veterans’ homes, 20 elderly individuals and several families in need.
* TOYS FOR TOTS:
Donated $1106.45 worth of toys and games to the USMC annual drive by gathering and using coupons, buying sale items and spending $350.69 in cash donations earned by doing chores for people and other things.
CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL CHRISTMAS GIFTS:
Delivered toys for children that were hospitalized at Christmas.
*INTERNATIONAL CHILD SPONSORSHIP:
Sponsored a boy in Ghana so that he would be able to go to school. Sponsorship helped with clothing, school supplies, transportation, three meals each school day and medical care when needed.
“Adopted” three endangered species: a Komodo dragon with school, mountain lion and a red panda with his family.
*COUPONS FOR TROOPS:
Did you know that military men and women can use coupons for six months past the expiration date on base? He collected thousands of coupons for the troops and even sent some boxes overseas.
Helped his mom by stocking shelves when she ran a Food Pantry.
Works with Creative Montesorri’s Green Team to be a green school. They teach students about recycling, reusing items and reducing waste. They were able to start a school-wide paper recycling system by providing every classroom with a paper recycling bin. They were also able to plant a community patio and flower garden and have plans to do more.
He is currently working on a proposal to do a “Show You Care with Underwear” drive to collect undergarments. He will then add the over 1500 socks that he has and distribute them to local agencies and groups.
Other things that are in the works:
~Partnering with a Special Olympic event that is being organized by PKSA Karate for children with Autism.
~Partnering with Waynewright Community Meals also known as the Wyandotte Soup Kitchen to volunteer and distribute items at their upcoming holiday events.