Local 9-year-old Has A Big Heart For Veterans
Nicholas Wilkerson and his friends create hundreds of Valentine’s Day cards to thank veterans for their service
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This week’s “Whiz Kid” is Hawthorne School fourth-grader Nicholas Wilkerson, who wants to make sure that as many veterans as possible receive a card this Valentine’s Day. With help from fellow classmates, family and friends, 9-year-old Nicholas will have more than 300 cards to pass out at the VA Hospital in East Orange and ship overseas to those in the armed forces.
- How did this project come about? “I was telling my mom about how a classmate’s mom is in the Navy overseas, and we thought about doing something nice for the veterans and soldiers. My sisters also did a 'Valentines for Veterans' project when they were in the Girl Scouts."
- Why is this project important to you? “The soldiers in Iraq go out there and risk their lives and fight for us every day. This is a small way to show them we appreciate what they do, even if we can’t express it to them in person.”
- Are you involved in other volunteer projects? “My family is making birthday boxes for the kids at Shelter our Sisters. It‘s part of the 'Pay it Forward' project. We’re taking shoe boxes and filling them with napkins, plates and streamers. And Kirsten’s Touch of Love is donating gift cards for cupcakes for each box. We’ll also have gift cards for pizza in there also.”
- What do you want to be when you grow up and why? “I want to be a chef. My favorite thing to cook is chicken. You add a little seasoning or marinate it, and then you bake it in the oven for a little bit. Or I’d like to be a sportscaster because I love sports. Baseball is my favorite.”
- Who inspires you to be the best you can be? “My mom inspires me because she helps people every day."
Nicholas’ mother Angelae is collecting phone cards to attach to the Valentine's Day cards that she’ll deliver to the VA Hospital on Feb. 16. For more information, contact Wilkerson at firstname.lastname@example.org.