• Elizabeth Gilkey

The Red Wagon Initiative: How One Teenager Created a Whole Movement


Brody Receveur and Mikaela Widener

There are some stereotypes about teenagers: They are lazy and irresponsible. They don’t know anything about life. They only care about themselves.

We don’t give them enough credit. As a mom of a teenager myself, I am finding that our young people are more socially aware than ever. Teens are very interested in philanthropy and social justice. A great example is Brody Receveur who turned a simple food drive into a sustainable initiative in Spotsylvania County Public Schools.

In 2012, when Brody was in middle school he started going house to house collecting canned goods. In one week, he collected 83 pounds of food. Donations skyrocketed from collecting 162 pounds in 2015 to 419 pounds in 2017 after Brody decided to coordinate with Riverbend High School’s Honor Society.


In 2018, the Red Wagon Initiative was born. Brody wanted the initiative to be sustainable

and replicable and worked with the FRFB and other teachers at the school. Because he was a senior, Brody began training more people and looking for someone to take over as director after graduation. Mikaela Widener, a rising junior, has taken over and will be the director until she graduates in two years.

To date this year, over 1,000 pounds of food have been donated to the food bank! The Red Wagon Initiative now has a program through the National Honor Society at Massaponax High School. Brody and Mikaela hope other high schools will follow. We are so grateful for the young people of this community who are working to end hunger in our community!

To follow the Red Wagon Initiative go to @red.wagon.initiative on Instagram.

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