A 13-year-old boy has created a closet for his classmates to use, so those who are underprivileged have nice clothes to wear.
Chase Neyland-Square, a student at Port Allen Middle School in Port Allen, Louisiana, wanted to help those who weren’t as ‘fortunate’ as him and his family.
Now, he helps run the closet – called PAM’s Pantry – gathering jackets, shoes, hygiene products, and school supplies before his headteacher hands them out to those in need.
As reported by WAFB 9News, the pantry is filled with clothes hanging on two racks, with more bags placed along the walls. The clothes are donated before being handed out to students who need them.
Chase told the news station:
I know that everybody doesn’t have things and I’m fortunate to have things that other people don’t have, and I look at it as sometimes, how would I feel in that situation?
They had a family, a Port Allen family who suffered from a fire, so they came in and got a whole new closet full of clothes.
On top of the racks of shirts, suit jackets, and dresses are shelves up to the ceiling which are stacked to the brim with school supplies.
PAM’s pantry came about as a result of the Student Program for Arts, Recreation, and Knowledge (SPARK), which takes place over the summer and allows students to come up with ideas before figuring out how to implement them.
It was started by Principal Jessica Major in 2016 with the goal of creating young leaders. Some of the ideas the children have come up with so far – on top of PAM’s Pantry – include lunch with the principal, brightening up the hallways, and a revamp of the library.
Principal Major said:
We ask them what they want to do to make the school better and through that, we have changed drastically some of the things that we do here at Port Allen Middle School.
Chase told Good Morning America his ‘favourite’ part about helping with the pantry is getting clothes and ‘sorting them out’ to give to various people. ‘It makes me feel good because I know I can make a difference in my school,’ the teenager explained.
Major said Chase organises the items in the pantry while she and her secretary discreetly distribute items to those who need it; at Port Allen, many students come from low-income households and the principal said there are students whose parents can’t afford to buy them things such as nice outfits to wear at eighth grade graduation.
The 13-year-old’s community spirit doesn’t stop at his school either. His mum, Amanda Square, said Chase has also hosted dinners for senior citizens, as well as donating 700 pairs of socks for the homeless once.
The young boy said he has a ‘heart for giving’ and would like to improve the pantry by adding more shoes to it.
Well done Chase, keep up the good work.
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A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).