ONTARIO -- An Ontario boy recently set an example for giving as the holiday season approaches.
Ontario Local Schools recently participated in the 2021 United Way of Richland County campaign. Zachery White, an Ontario Middle School 7th grader, did something pretty amazing.
Zachery had been saving money for a very long while, in hopes of one day purchasing a new laptop. Instead, he decided it was more important to donate his entire savings of $110 to the United Way. Zachery said that he knows what it's like to do without things during the holidays, and he felt it was important that his money be used to help others in need.
"I am beyond proud of Zachery. He gave all that he had," Ontario superintendent Lisa Carmichael said. "If every student were like Zachery, it would be a perfect world. Zachery is a very special boy."
Zachery has an aunt and uncle who live in Marysville. They shared the story with their church. The church in Marysville made a $200 donation to the United Way of Richland County, stating in a memo "In honor of Zachery White's giving spirit."
To say his generosity had a chain reaction is an understatement.
As a result of Zachery's generous spirit, he was invited to the Ontario School Board of Education Meeting on Dec. 14, 2021, where he received a plaque from Superintendent Lisa Carmichael stating "In Recognition of the Charitable Spirit of Zachery White ~ Thank You Very Much For Your Extremely Generous Donation to the United Way."
Second, a very generous anonymous donor heard about the story and purchased Zachery a brand new laptop. The laptop was presented to him during the Board of Education Meeting.
Third, Zachery was named United Way Director for the Day. Dan Varn, Executive Director of the Richland County United Way, presented Zachery with a certificate stating "In Recognition for your Generosity and Thoughtfulness, The United Way of Richland County is Proud to offer you the chance to serve as UNITED WAY DIRECTOR FOR THE DAY."
After the first of the new year, Zachery will be given the opportunity to spend an entire day with Varn, visit the various United Way partner agencies, and see first-hand where his donation is being used. Zachery said he's very interested in continuing to give back to others, especially those in our county who need it most.
Finally, Zachery assisted Superintendent Carmichael in presenting Dan Varn with a large bag of money totaling $14,036.63. This is the largest donation ever made by the Ontario Local Schools to the United Way of Richland County. It was a 48% increase over last year's donation.