CLAYTON — T-Bolt Tribe, Inc. is a non-profit community organization with the mission of empowering and appreciating teachers as well as helping to ensure the welfare, happiness and success of Northmont students.
“In early December we heard of a need to help our district’s most vulnerable Foster Care students with Christmas presents,” said T-Bolt Tribe President Elizabeth Poteet. “Each student was hand picked by high school teachers as one with the most needs. Our initial goal was to raise enough money and gift cards to help them each have a wonderful holiday. As time went on we realized that there are a lot of kids who need help throughout the year, not just Christmas.”
Michael and Sherry Gibson of Imperial Coach learned of the project and jumped right in to help. They both said, “We feel that this is our calling.”
They proposed taking the Foster Care students in a luxury coach to go shopping at the Cincinnati Premium Outlets. Imperial Coach donated the coach, fuel and provided lunch for the students.
“But, we needed money to give them to shop,” Poteet noted. “In three weeks we did live videos, social media posts, etc. and started with a $50 challenge calling out friends and family to help us raise the needed monies. We had a goal of $5,000 to not only help with the shopping trip, but to also be able to provide emergency funds over the next year as student needs arise.”
Many people donated to the cause, not only in the Northmont community but also friends and family from many other states. In addition, local businesses donated to help the T-Bolt Tribe meet its goal.
Dance Expressions Dance Studio, with girls from schools all over the Dayton area donated $375 in gift cards.
“You could see how proud they were to present us with the gift cards,” Poteet said. “At the end of the three weeks, we raised $5,270!”
On Friday, Dec. 20 at Northmont High School, Imperial Coach added up all of the donations (money and gift cards) and presented a check to the T-Bolt Tribe.
In attendance were Michael and Sherry Gibson (Imperial Coach owners), T-Bolt Tribe officers, teachers, Principal Dr. Jason Inkrot, Superintendent Tony Thomas, and State Representative Phil Plummer.
After presenting the check Michael and Sherry Gibson said to Poteet, “Thank you for letting us be a part of this project. We are blessed to be able to help.”
On Saturday December 21, T-Bolt Tribe took 13 students in a beautiful coach to Starbucks, then to the Premium Outlets to shop, have lunch and have fun laughing and taking pictures around the Christmas tree.
“The kids were very appreciative and had great fun,” Poteet said. “Not only did they buy for themselves but they were also picking out presents for their family members. One students asked me, ‘Who is giving us all of this?’ I told her that it was from people in the community and Imperial Coach. With surprise and tears in her eyes she said, ‘Well I just want you to know that I appreciate this, really I do.’
“That one statement and seeing the kids smile, laugh and have a great day made all the hard work worth it,” Poteet added. “Personally I want every one of our donors to know the positive impact their thoughtfulness had on each of these students.”
She also said that she measures the happiness and engagement of a community by the love and compassion it shows to its members.
“I am proud to be a part of the Northmont community where many of our members hugged these children with love not even knowing who they are,” Poteet stated.