Graduate School and Kind Strangers

blogger Frelimo Amili and two of his childrenBy the time August rolls around it seems like summer is pretty much over. School started on September first this year, that’s the earliest I can remember. If it weren’t for good people and programs that help, there is no way my family would ever have been prepared.

I am a graduate student at the University of Washington’s Tacoma campus. For the past couple years I have worked as a student assistant in the financial aid office. This summer, that job ended for me. I am currently putting all of my focus into finishing my degree, so that I can be in better position to take care of my family financially. In addition to being able to better take care of my family, I also will be able to give back to people from disadvantaged backgrounds such as mine.

I have four school-aged children. Nariya is now in 8th grade. Amare is now in 6th grade. Frelimo Jr. is a second grader, and Amaru is going into kindergarten. These kids grow so fast and are so hard on their possessions that pretty much nothing from last school year is usable this school year. That means that we need four sets of school uniforms including pants, shirts, sweaters and gym shorts in addition to a coat, socks, underwear and couple pairs of shoes for each kid. We need four sets of school supplies. We need four backpacks.

Good People, Tough Choices

Luckily, there is help out there. Last year, I heard that Boston Celtic’s all-star point guard Isaiah Thomas was having a backpack giveaway in his hometown of Tacoma. I took my kids to this event, and they were all given brand new backpacks full of school supplies. They also were given haircuts, got fed a meal and got to take a picture with the Huskies legend.

We often have to make sacrifices and make tough decisions. It could come down to the kids having backpacks or electricity.”

To many people a backpack, haircuts and school supplies for their kids are relatively minor and easy to acquire. However, when you are in my position and need everything times four, getting it for free really goes a long way. We often have to make sacrifices and make tough decisions. It could come down to the kids having backpacks or electricity. Gas to get around or school supplies. Haircut or another shirt. I am very grateful for people like Isaiah Thomas who give back and make life easier for me and my family.

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