Second-grader sends relief packs to U.S. Virgin Islands

Wright raises funds, donations to send to hurricane victims

By Melanie Yingst -

Zoe Wright

Zoe Wright

TROY — Second grader Zoe Wright watched the news reports of the U.S. Virgin Islands being destroyed by hurricanes on television and knew she had to do something to help.

“I heard about the hurricane and I felt really bad,” Zoe said. “A lot of people lost their homes.”

Zoe said she wanted to help the people in the wake of the hurricane’s devastation because her grandfather and Troy High School boys soccer coach Richard Phillips is a native of Trinidad in the Caribbean.

“I was sad they didn’t have anything left, not even a toothbrush,” she said.

Wright, 8, came up with the idea of “Zoe Packs,” or bags filled with new socks, toothpaste, toothbrush, lotion, soap and deodorant to send to people of Christiansted in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Her goal was to fill 200 draw string bags.

Zoe enlisted the help of her schoolmates at Troy Christian Schools and also received support from her church, Richard’s Chapel United Methodist Church, and Pastor Kima Cunningham.

“I told my pastor I was feeling bad. She asked me if I want to start the Zoe Packs to help people in the Virgin Islands,” she said.

Each bag has a note from Zoe included in the “Zoe Packs,” which states, “I believe the world is one big family and we need to help each other.”

Zoe collected donations and money from the community, including a generous donation from her church and Troy Christian Schools’ first-grade teacher Sara Jane Johnson. Altogether, Zoe raised more than $585 to help fill and ship the Zoe Packs.

Zoe also received help from her grandmother Loretta Phillips.

“I have a pretty awesome granddaughter,” Phillips said.

Zoe, along with friends and family, helped fill the packs to ship to the U.S. Virgin Islands at the end of the month.

“I felt really happy people wanted to help,” Zoe said.

Zoe Wright Wright
Wright raises funds, donations to send to hurricane victims

By Melanie Yingst