A Louisiana eight-grader wants to make sure that all of his classmates – especially those who are in need – have nice clothes to wear every day. So he created a school closet full of donated clothing items and other necessities that would supply what these students lack.
13-year-old Chase Neyland-Square is the brain behind PAM’s Pantry at Port Allen Middle School, a special closet located behind the school’s stage. In it, a variety of donated clothing items and other necessities could be found. The whole project is dedicated to students who are in need.
“I know that everybody doesn’t have things and I’m fortunate to have things that other people don’t have,” Chase told WAFB. “I look at it as sometimes, how would I feel in this situation?”
PAM’s Pantry has already helped students and their families tremendously.
“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,” Chase said.
Fortunately, various sponsors willingly share their blessings and continue donating to Chase’s cause, so the closet is always fully stocked. Aside from clothing items, the pantry also offers school supplies such as markers, pencils, sharpeners, and binders.
“I wanted to make a difference in the school because I wanted everybody to feel equal,” he said. “Sometimes kids have less confidence in the classroom because of their apparel or what they have on.”
Chase’s mother, Amanda Square, told Good Morning America that her son has always had a heart for giving. In fact, the teen previously hosted dinners for senior citizens and once donated 700 pairs of socks to homeless people.
“He seems to have a great passion for people,” she told GMA. “It makes me proud because we’re very blessed and I always encourage him to bless others.”
The idea for PAM’s Pantry was sparked through the school’s summer program called SPARK (Student Program for Arts, Recreation, and Knowledge). School principal Jessica Major said that she launched the program three years ago intending to create young leaders and give students the power to make improvements in their community as they see fit.
Other ideas besides the pantry included lunch with her to celebrate good grades, extended recess, brightening up the hallways, and reworking the library to include books that students actually want to read. Port Allen Middle School is currently accepting donations for the pantry that can be dropped off at the school’s front office.
As for Chase, the project has inspired him to carry on his giving streak into the future. “I’m going to come back and continue working on PAM’s Pantry,” he said. “I’m hoping one day I could turn it into a non-profit organization.”
This young man’s generosity is truly admirable. For sure, he will continue to do great things in the years to come!