Greensboro teens seize moment to expand their project benefitting local homeless community

What's Right with Our Schools

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Helping others seems to come easy to some people. That is the case for high school sophomores Maddie Thompson and Lil Richey.

A few years ago, when they were both in middle school, they saw a need and acted on it. The two start something called the Box from Home Project benefitting the homeless in Greensboro.

Maddie, who attends the STEM Early College at NC A&T State University says they are looking for simple items that are greatly needed. 

“We’re looking for small toiletries and items,” said Thompson. “We really need shoeboxes and wrapping paper to make it special, but we’re also looking for things like deodorant, gloves, reuseable water bottles, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash.”

But because of the pandemic, the two have had more time to work on the project and decided to get help from all across Guilford County. 

“We want to get as much stuff as possible to be able to help as many people as possible,” Richey said.

They advertised drop off spots in community newsletters, took to social media and built a website to get the word out to the entire county.

According to Thompson, “We’ve found it’s a really great way for during the pandemic for people to still come together and contribute to a greater cause. For some people, they can’t really make as charitable donations as they could before because of what’s going on. So for a lot of people, it’s a way for them to give something small and contribute to something bigger. And so it’s been a great way for people in the county and people in the city to come together.”

While the girls could get service-learning hours with Guilford County schools for their work, they say that’s not their motivation.

“I feel like we’re not doing it for the service hours,” said Richey. “We’re genuinely doing it to help people because that’s what we did those two years. It’s something we both really enjoy doing and wanting to continue.”

Thompson added, “It’s more or less just addressing a need and feeling like we’re helping our community and doing our part to make a difference when there’s so much that some people can be doing right now. So it’s kind of, ‘Why wouldn’t you?'”

For more information, visit the Box from Home Project website.

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