When Benfer third-grader Garrett Tuer found out that NAM’s Choice Food Pantry, the Joanne Watford Nutrition Center, was in need of donations, he immediately responded to the call to action.

Garrett has been organizing donation drives for his birthday for three years now. It started with Hurricane Harvey in 2017 when Garrett found out that many children lost their beloved toys and stuffed animals during the natural disaster. 

“Each year, Garrett picks a charity to donate to for his birthday, and we have a really big party and treat it like a fundraiser,” Garrett’s mom, Rebekah, said. “He has an awareness for other people in need, so when I saw the Facebook post that the JWNC’s soup and cereal shelves were bare, it got us thinking.” 

In lieu of birthday presents and brand new gadgets, Garrett requested that his friends show up to his robot-themed birthday party with donation items for the JWNC. 

“My heart doesn’t want to feel selfish, and I wanted to do something nice, so I invited a lot of friends to celebrate and donate,” he said. “It made my heart feel really good.”

The elementary campus instantly rallied together to support Garrett’s cause as many of his friends who couldn’t attend the birthday festivities still brought donations to Garrett at school.

“My favorite part is seeing all of my friends that care,” he said. 

After collecting, counting, and sorting, Garrett was happy to report that his donation drive brought in almost 400 donation items. He couldn’t wait to visit NAM in person to deliver the donations.

“It was fun because they gave me a tour of where everything was, and they told me that they were happy because they needed tomato soup, and we had tomato soup.” 

The center and staff enjoyed Garrett’s visit just as much as he did.

“More than 1,000 clients visit the Joanne Watford Nutrition Center each month,” NAM’s Chief Advancement Officer Brain Carr said. “It would be impossible to serve the community without neighborhood heroes like Garrett.”




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