MONROE, N.C. (WBTV) - A young Monroe man just getting his start is doing what he can for neighbors in need.
“Pencil boxes, pencils, color pencils,” Jonathan Ikard lists, sorting through a colorfully decorated backpack. “Everything they’ll need to start the school year.”
The 20-year-old is not so far from that first day of school feeling.
“I just got out of school,” he says. “So, I know exactly what they need for school.”
The pile of backpacks in his apartment will, so far, go to 17 Union County students – all strangers, to him. He says he was inspired to do something to help kids, after seeing news stories about children separated from their parents at the Mexico border.
“I can’t really do anything about that,” Ikard says. “So, I just try to do what I can.”
So, he is helping local kids in need. His friends helped by putting a message out to local Facebook community groups.
“People were messaging us, telling us their stories,” Ikard says. “And a lot of them have stories.”
They are not asking any questions - no verifying, no forms to fill. And Ikard is paying for it all out of his own pocket.
“It means a lot,” he says. “Knowing that I can help people, it means a lot to me.”
Ikard says he decided to do this on his own because he wanted to be able to move forward with the families “no questions asked.”
With two weeks left before school starts, he says he will probably not be stopping at 17 - that he has a few more families he has heard from, who he would still like to help.