Collegiate student seeks $900 in donations to expand non-profit initiative

12-year-old Luke Tyson raising funds to support charity project; seeks $900 by Friday.

Collegiate rising 7th grader Luke Tyson may be enjoying summer break, but he’s also busy raising funds for a project that is bringing joy to youths and adults across the nation.

In his quest to support SEW for SOS, a volunteer craft-related project he spearheaded with about a dozen middle school classmates last spring, he’s already raised $600.

Tyson came up with the idea for SEW for SOS last spring as he recovered from a badly broken arm and considered how others facing challenges like he was might appreciate a kind gesture.

He garnered the support of other 5th through 8th grade students at Collegiate and they began meeting at lunchtime to sew swatches of material together into small pillows and insert positive notes inside. Collegiate’s Middle School librarian, Carolyn LaMontagne, oversaw the students’ efforts, and helped ship the pillows to designated locations.

Wanting to insure that SEW for SOS has the resources and connections the organization needs to make a difference in metro Richmond and beyond, Tyson connected with national nonprofit organizations that champion causes developed by youths.

His initial goal is to raise enough money to purchase supplies and postage so that pillows can be sewn and shipped wherever they are requested. The 12-year-old social entrepreneur is seeking $900 in contributions by this Friday, August 15th through an online fundraising platform called Sponsr.Us.

By this time next year, however, he hopes to have expanded SEW for SOS to other middle schools and into high schools, and to have encouraged hundreds more individuals through thoughtfully written pillow notes.

“I want people to feel cared for; loved,” said Tyson, who lives in western Henrico County and plans to someday own his own business.

Since the project’s inception, pillows have been distributed to more than 400 individuals in hospitals or nursing homes, as well as to people dealing with trauma, emotional issues and other challenges.

To donate to Tyson’s cause online, click here.

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Trevor Dickerson

Trevor Dickerson loves all things Richmond and manages RVANews’ West of the Boulevard and West End community sites.

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