Teens Making a Difference founder details origin, plans for 4th Annual Back to School Event

Published 12:30 am Friday, July 15, 2022

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It’s time to “Get Wild” as Teens Making a Difference is gearing up for the 4th annual back-to-school bash July 30, when everyone is inspired to get into the spirit and wear animal print.

“We’ve put together an amazing event for both parents and kids to enjoy,” says Nia Lewis, organizer.

The back-to-school event allows parents and children to get some much-needed school supplies for the next school year thanks to TMAD’s partnership with more than 40 businesses.

“Not only will children have an opportunity to receive supplies, but they will also have fun activities for kids of all ages to attend, and get a chance to win door prizes,” Lewis said.

Prizes including Kindles, televisions, bicycles and Jordan-brand tennis shoes. DJ Sharp will get everyone in the “wild” spirit with a variety of music, while families can enjoy rock-wall climbing, bounce houses and food trucks.

TMAD’s “Let’s Get Wild” Back is July 30 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Riverfront Boardwalk and Pavilion, located at 809 Division in Orange.

Businesses who wish to become a sponsor have until July 22. For more information contact Lewis at 409-920-1636 or email teemad409@gmail.com.

“Mr. Burger and Seafood will be giving away 100 free corn dogs for kids, but there will be hot dogs available, as well,” Lewis said. “The owner, Mr. Terry Lewis, and his wife are known for their big hearts in the community.”

(Courtesy photo)

But the event’s biggest purpose is to make sure students get all the supplies needed to start school.

TMAD donated 400 backpacks last year and expects to give away at least 100 more. Lewis says at the end of the day everyone is sad to leave.

“We provide a safe and fun environment that gives the children a chance to be a kid,” Lewis said. “You never know what a child is going through, so we try to impact our kids, get them inspired and excited to go back to school.”

TMAD’s motto: Together we can do remarkable things.

“We strongly believe that we will never influence the world by being just like it,” Lewis said. “We must set ourselves apart by rising above, giving generously, servicing our communities and loving unconditionally!”

Lewis, a recent graduate of West Orange-Stark, started TMAD in 2018 in hopes of making a positive change among her classmates.

“I was going through a trying time,” Lewis said. “I was praying and asking God to give me a vision or something bigger and better to do than what I was currently doing.”

Lewis’ vision was a group that would allow students an opportunity for some one-on-one time outside of school. The effort would adults and community groups involved in giving back to the community.

“There’s not a lot to do in Orange, and I started to see a lot of peers starting to go down the wrong path,” she said. “I just wanted to do something to better help my peers.”

TMAD has approximately 30 members ranging from middle to high school who conduct regular trash pick-ups, as well as book club during the school year. It’s the Back to School Bash where Lewis believes they make the biggest impact.

“It’s an indescribable feeling, a feeling of fulfillment,” she said. “TMAD is all about making a difference, and when I see the smiles and hear the loud laughs from the parents and children, I know it was a job well done.”

Timeline of Events

11:00 AM -1:00 PM | Sign Up, play, & door prizes

1:00 PM – 2:30 PM | Distribution of Supplies

2:30 PM – 3:00PM | Appreciation & Tribute

Children must be present at the time of the drawing to win.

— By Chrissie Mouton