Appolonia Wright didn’t even think he would respond.

She knew Tommie Harris in high school. They were Facebook friends. But she thought it was a long shot to get the former Ellison and NFL star to come out and donate his time and money. Saturday, though, she found herself at Walmart with Harris buying even more backpacks and gift cards.

“They needed help getting kids school supplies and being generous is the No. 1 thing we all need to do,” said Harris, who is still hoping to get picked up by a team this preseason. “It is more important to me than getting picked up by a team. What are you doing with your time when you are not working.”

Wright, who along with her husband, Samuel, donated more than 200 backpacks to the community last year, doubled that totaled this year as The Wright Boys Foundation teamed up with the Tommie Harris Foundation to donate more than 400 backpacks, 30 gift cards and other school supplies to more than 500 members of the community at Long Branch Park on Saturday afternoon.

“It just came about three days ago when Appolonia hit me up on Facebook,” Harris said. “I have been busy with football training, but she asked me if I wanted to help out and I was trying to find a way to do something anyway, but she was already established here, so we just collaborated.”

Samuel Wright, a government contractor who founded the Wright Boys Foundation said he was amazed at the turnout this year and hoped to build on it going forward.

“I made money overseas and I just wanted to give back to my community,” Wright said.

“We asked Tommie to be a part of it and we are blessed that he volunteered his time.”

Contact Nick Talbot at or (254) 501-7569

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