February 28, 2021

WVHS Student Donates $5,000 to Loaves & Fishes and Make-A-Wish

Brynn Drews on Ellen

“Do you think Ellen’s going to be proud of you?” asked Brynn Drews’ sister. “Yeah, I just paid it backwards,” said Drews.

In January 2020, Waubonsie Valley student, Brynn Drews, caught Ellen DeGeneres’ attention with a video of her paying for someone’s drink while under the effects of anesthesia. The high school junior received $10,000 from DeGeneres, which inspired her to start her own non-profit – #PayItBackwards.

Donation to Non-Profits

In August, her goal was to sell all 1,000 wristbands she had to raise $5,000 – and she finally did. “It was pretty overwhelming at first,” said Drews. Drews gave away $2,500 to Loaves & Fishes here in Naperville, and the other half to Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Towards the end of sales, her movement became bigger than expected when she started receiving orders from other states. “That’s kind of definitely why I wanted to do one global and one community-driven organization,” said Drews.

Community Support

It’s been a month-long journey, and Drews knows she couldn’t have done it without community support. “I was super proud of myself, but I was also so honored and humbled to be able to give that money away,” said Drews. “And knowing that I’m holding the check but that’s 500 wristbands sold – when I’m giving the check to Loaves & Fishes I know that’s 500 other people that were a part of it.”

Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.


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