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1st Grade Student Wins Award and Organizes Food Drive for Familylinks

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Lauren Galletta
Director of Development & Outreach

1 st Grade Student Wins Award and Organizes Food Drive for Familylinks
Wesley Richards named Student of the Month at Kelly Primary School in Wilkinsburg

Pittsburgh, PA, January 31, 2020 … Familylinks announced today that the generous amount of food supplies collected by 8 year old Wesley Richards have all been distributed to the agency’s residential facilities for homeless youth and adults, reflecting Wesley’s wishes to “do something to help others.” In late 2019, after winning the Student of the Month Award, Wesley invited his 1 st grade classmates at Kelly Primary School in Wilkinsburg to join him in collecting non-perishable items in a food drive for Familylinks. The principal, Kerry L. Francis, encourage the students to become SuperStarz through a variety of activities.

Don Goughler, Interim President and CEO of Familylinks, commented, “We are honored to have been chosen by Wesley and his 1 st grade class to receive so many boxes of food for our grateful clients. At such a young age, Wesley serves as a wonderful example of how we can all help the most vulnerable in our community.”

A donation crate was in the lobby of Kelly Primary where students could deposit their food items and get a hug from “Tuffy the Tiger” when they make their donation. Through Wesley’s efforts, the crate was quickly full, and additional boxes had to be brought in to handle the overflow.

Wesley’s mother, Tamika Jackson, noted, “Wesley has always shown compassion for the homeless and making sure others have enough food and shelter.”

Familylinks is a nonprofit organization committed to building healthy communities by strengthening individuals and families through the provision of comprehensive, quality services. By believing in the worth of those served, Familylinks assures that all children, families and seniors in western Pennsylvania have the tools they need to be healthy, happy and strong for life. Last year alone, the agency served nearly 10,000 people. These individuals range from children to seniors, in a variety of neighborhoods, income groups and beliefs. They all have one thing in common - when they turn to Familylinks in their time of need, we are here for them. To learn more, visit

Attached photo: Wesley Richards, 1 st grader at Kelly Primary School in Wilkinsburg, and “Tuffy the Tiger” with the food and non-perishable items collected for Familylinks by Wesley and his classmates.