After competing in Field Day events at Donald L. Pavlik Middle School in Alma, Moritz Richter thought he would receive a paper certificate, or maybe a coupon for some free food, but he was pretty surprised when his teacher told him he won a mountain bike.
Richter, 12, did not win the bike for his skills on the field, but for his compassion in the classroom. His teacher, Danette Guild-Hubbard, nominated him for Barberi Law’s Bikes for Kids program. The program recognizes children who are doing good things in their communities.
“We wanted to do something to recognize those children in our community that quietly do things to help others,” Attorney Joseph Barberi said.
Guild-Hubbard was Richter’s homeroom teacher, and she nominated him to win a mountain bike from Motorless Motion. In her nomination, she wrote about how Richter’s family is from Germany, though he was born in the United States, and how he is an English as a second language student. She said he did a variety of things to help her throughout the year, but one act of kindness really stood out to her.
“However, what impresses me most about him is that he is, and has been for several years, a peer mentor to an autistic student,” Guild-Hubbard wrote in her nomination. “Moritz simply shines in this capacity. He is compassionate, helpful, patient and loving toward this student, and has worked with him one-on-one through a number of situations. This is not something Moritz does for the credit or accolades, because there are none. He does it out of love, and friendship toward this other student.”
Richter and his parents, Marcus and Ellen, did not know that Guild-Hubbard nominated him for the Bikes for Kids program. After being contacted by Barberi Law, Marcus got in touch with Guild-Hubbard and asked her if she wanted to tell Mortiz the news.
Richter and his parents came to downtown Mt. Pleasant Saturday, June 18, to pick out his new bike. Allison Quast-Lents, owner of Motorless Motion, helped Richter pick out his bike, helmet and lock. She also showed him how to properly take care of his bike, and also told him some things to keep in mind while riding it.
Richter was very excited to be recognized for helping others. He said he likes to help others because it makes them feel better. He also talked about the classmate he helps.
“He feels like he has a friend,” Richter said. “He says it’s hard to find friends.”
Richter’s parents were happy to have their son appreciated for the kind things he does. They said he doesn’t look for recognition, but it’s always nice to be appreciated.