By WILLIAM STEVENS – Staff writer
An Oil City teenager is planning to give back to the less fortunate in Oil City following a fundraiser for his traveling basketball team last month.
Seventh-grader Isaiah Aeschbacher, 14, and his teammates were each charged with raising $450 via a sub sandwich sale. The first donation Aeschbacher received put him nearly halfway to his goal.
Leighann Janicki, a friend of Isaiah’s mother, Corrie Aeschbacher, asked if she could donate money directly to them. Corrie agreed and received $200 in the mail the next day on Feb. 15.
At the end of the fundraiser, Isaiah had raised $1,138 and will put the remainder of the money toward a party for his basketball teammates at the end of their season.
“Every time I see someone who needs help, I want to help them. If I was in that situation I’d want them to do the same for me,” Isaiah said.
There have been times when Isaiah and Corrie would see someone on the side of the road and Isaiah would ask his mother if they could go buy them food or give them money.
Isaiah continues to do this because he wants to give people something that he was missing as he grew up.
“I would always hear people in school talking about their dads but I didn’t have mine,” Isaiah said. “It was upsetting, and I could never hold it together.”
It wasn’t until he attended a counseling session that Isaiah opened up about the issue to his mother.
“His attitude changed. He did a complete 180 and his grades started improving,” Corrie said. “I think at that point he was able to see things from a man’s perspective and not just his mom’s.”
Isaiah says his outlook on life is bright as he continues to do well in school and excel in basketball, which will help him achieve his ambitious dream of playing in the NBA.
“I’ve told him that if he wants to get into the NBA, he’s got to practice,” Corrie said. “There are days when he would spend a good eight hours down at the YMCA practicing and I’d have to call him to get him home.”
This donation to The Pointe won’t be Isaiah’s last as he and his mother are aiming to make it an annual event. The details are still unclear, but his mother wants to reach out to other local non-profits and donate money to them.
But until then, Isaiah wants to continue to play basketball and help the less fortunate, one person at a time.