Anton Mertens’ Generosity Reaches Pickup-Sized Proportions

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Anton Mertens’ Generosity Reaches Pickup-Sized Proportions

Pickup Sized Proportions: Senior Anton Mertens helps students in need

Pickup Sized Proportions: Senior Anton Mertens helps students in need

Pickup Sized Proportions: Senior Anton Mertens helps students in need

Pickup Sized Proportions: Senior Anton Mertens helps students in need

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Schoolchildren from economically disadvantaged families are always in need of classic supplies like paper and pencils. And for families in an economic pinch, the start of a school year always brings the pressure of getting their children ready.

In the face of these realities, senior Anton Mertens wanted to help out. He became inspired to donate the supplies when picking out his own supplies for the year. Mertens realized something so seemingly simple was not to be taken for granted: many students in our own community cannot afford to buy school supplies.

A first step for him was to make flyers for his neighbors to broadcast the need he saw. The message was clear and the response was overwhelming. He received loads of school supplies and even cash offers. One of his neighbors even adopted Mertens’ cause and collected items at his company. Also, children in his neighborhood had a lemonade stand and were able to raise $67 for the school. “It was so inspiring to see everyone pitching in for this cause,” said Mertens. “Incredibly enough, I’ve received enough donations to fill up the bed of my pick-up truck.”

After collecting them from his neighbors and getting donations delivered as well, Mertens dropped off the supplies with the school social worker Gayle Roque. In the end, he was able to deliver 20 backpacks, which filled his Ford F-150 pickup bed to the brim, with supplies. Mertens also donated 30 backpacks — too small for high schoolers — to E. Rivers Elementary. In addition to the supplies already donated, Mertens raised an additional $600 for the purchase of future supplies for the less fortunate as needed at North Atlanta throughout the year. “I just want to set them up for success,” said Mertens.

A brighter school year for some students in the district is a touching reality because of the Mertens’ actions. But what kind of future does the youthful philanthropist have in mind for himself? At school, his favorite subjects include math and chemistry and he said he aspires to be a doctor or an engineer. He has not yet made a firm decision on where he’ll be attending college and aspires to attend schools like Georgia Tech, Clemson, Emory, Yale, Auburn or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His exact future is uncertain. But this much is: In Anton Mertens we all find a very large-hearted individual.

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