A middle schooler from Louisiana is paying it forward by ensuring that his classmates have basic necessities to start the school year. To help students in need, 13-year-old Chase Neyland-Square created a closet at his school to provide them with free clothes and school supplies, CBS News reported.
Neyland-Square—an eighth-grader at Port Allen Middle School—came up with the concept for the project while participating in the school’s SPARK (Student Program for Arts, Recreation, and Knowledge) program. He and other students were tasked with developing ideas for social good initiatives that would benefit the school and the local community. Aware of the struggles faced by some of his peers, Neyland-Square decided to transform one of the closets at his school into PAM’s Pantry; a space that houses donated clothes, shoes, personal care and hygiene products and school supplies for students and their families.
“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?” he said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “I’m going to come back and continue working on PAM’s Pantry. I’m hoping one day I can turn it into a non-profit organization.” Initiatives like the one being led by Neyland-Square are needed. According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 15 million children throughout the country live in extreme poverty and are unable to afford school supplies.
Several youngsters are leading their own philanthropic efforts to help people in need. In celebration of their birthday, Alabama-based 12-year-olds Breanna and Brooke Bennett launched an initiative designed to provide care packages that include hygiene products for girls their age. In North Carolina, a 3-year-old entrepreneur donated the sales from her lemonade stand to help homeless mothers and children.