East Wake High School freshman Ilse Grace Thomas is out to spread the word about a children’s charity she is involved with, whether by just wearing an organization T-shirt to school or by setting up a donation table at the biggest football game of the year.
Thomas is on the teen board of Note in the Pocket, a nonprofit that provides clothing to children in need in Wake County schools.
She heard about the organization at a house-warming party she attended with her mother, Holly Thomas, who is president of the East Wake High Parent Teacher Association. “My passion is helping,” Ilse Thomas said. “My parents raised me to be compassionate.”
Note in the Pocket was founded in 2005, said Briony Voorhees, who works for the organization. A Wake teacher held a coat drive, but a large percentage of the coats came back from the families she was trying to help because they didn’t want to accept charity. The teacher tried again with a note in the coat’s pockets saying, “This coat is lovingly provided to you by the community.”
Now Note in the Pocket provides clothes to children in need with a note saying, “You are loved” in a pocket.
Thomas was planning to set up a table with a big water bottle to collect donations for Note in the Pocket at the East Wake-Knightdale high school football game on Oct. 28 and the East Wake High PTA yard sale Oct. 29 at the school.
She also goes to monthly meetings and larger Note in the Pocket events such as a 5-kilometer fun run each year.
“We are so glad we have someone representing eastern Wake because we have not had one in the past,” Vorhees said.
“It’s important because there are definitely people out there that need help,” Thomas said. “It’s important to have an organization like this out there for kids who don’t have clothes, for kids who are wearing the same thing three days in a row.”
Thomas plans to go into the medical field, possibly as a doctor or possibly as a pharmacist. She wants to go to Duke or UNC-Chapel Hill for college and the University of Virginia for her graduate work. “I definitely have big goals for myself for what I want to do in high school and even after I get out of high school.”
For now, though, she’ll settle for simply helping others.
Matt Goad: 919-829-4826