Wash, Rinse, Give, Repeat

This summer is not what anyone expected. Many of the usual plans and activities were not available, especially for teenagers. But it was also a summer that offered the opportunity to help communities amid an unprecedented public health crisis.

Richardson resident Ethan Hutchinson, 13, took advantage of this opportunity in an enterprising way – starting a neighborhood business, Wonderful Window Washing, to fight his own boredom and make extra money, while also donating a portion of his proceeds to the North Texas Food Bank. Hutchinson recruited his friend and fellow 8th grader, Cruz Martin, to help, and with his parents’ generous matching of donations, the boys have already donated more than $500 to the Food Bank.

Ethan Hutchinson and Cruz Martin wash windows in their neighborhood to earn extra money and donate proceeds to North Texas Food Bank.

Hutchinson is not alone in wanting to find ways to help during these uncertain times. The pandemic has sparked creative giving initiatives across the NTFB service area, as people consider the contributions – no matter how great or small – they can make to those who are struggling.

“I think it is especially important during this time because so many people have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, it’s harder for them to provide food for their families and they may turn to NTFB for assistance,” Hutchinson said.

Wonderful Window Washing started with a loan from his parents to purchase the bike trailer he needed to carry his window washing supplies, which he paid back after his first job. Hutchinson and Martin are continuing to wash windows in their neighborhood even now that school has resumed and will continue to give back to those facing hunger.

“We are proud of the boys for their dedication to their business, and even more for their interest in helping others,” said Hutchinson’s mother, Paige. “By helping locally, I think it will help them feel invested in their community and interested in the direction it takes.”

Hutchinson believes young people have a special opportunity and responsibility to promote positive change in their communities that doesn’t only help society, but furthers their understanding of the struggles people face around them and the powerful changes that even a teenager can help create. Hutchinson encourages his peers to not underestimate their ability to make a difference.

“Even if you can’t donate money, charitable organizations can always use your time,” he said. “A little time and effort will go a long way!”

Caryn Berardi is a Communications Specialist for the North Texas Food Bank.