Ambitious exchange student elbows past doubt

Claire Davis, Editor

Coming to the United States for the first time as an exchange student from Italy, Lorenzo Putti had aspirations of doing something bigger than himself. After sorting through his countless ideas, he decided he wanted to help those who were less fortunate than him, resulting in a proposal and a plan to benefit Wichita’s homeless population.

“I realized we should do this when I realized I missed my mom’s smile in the morning. Lot’s of people need smiles and do not get them. It is important to show kindness to people who do not experience it so easily”, said Putti.

On December 14, Putti and his group of “helpers” held a Christmas gathering called “Project: Christmas” at Mosaic Church in downtown Wichita. The gathering included a served hot meal, live music, a station to make gifts, a mailing station, and warm clothes while supplies lasted. The event was completely funded by the students and donations. Northwest declined Putti’s request for their help.

“Unfortunately, we can’t do any fundraisers from any outside school organizations, it has to be part of an organization or club in the school. We have policies and procedures we have to follow when exchanging money,” said Principal Gil Alvarez.

Putti received warnings as a result of holding meetings to organize the event during Advocacy and was even threatened with more extreme punishments.

Although Putti’s idea had not had much support from the beginning, his group and him completely organized the event and it was a huge success. The event was also a great bonding experience for many people in Putti’s group of friends.

“I love giving back to people, so it was easy for me to jump on board. Plus, I love all of these people I am working with. They are my best friends and this experience has brought us closer. What is better than doing something you love to do with people you love most?”, said helper, sophomore Cali Godwin.

“Project: Christmas” greatly benefited Wichita’s homeless, and all leftover supplies will be given to Wichita Children’s Home, The Lord’s Dinner, and other non-profit organizations to help Wichita’s less fortunate population.