Chase Neyland-Square said he "wanted everybody to feel equal"
A Louisiana middle schooler knows the importance of feeling good — and he’s making sure all of his fellow classmates have the chance to do just that.
Eighth-grader Chase Neyland-Square is the mastermind of PAM’s Pantry at Port Allen Middle School, a special closet behind the school’s stage that offers a variety of donated clothes to students in need.
“I know that everybody doesn’t have things and I’m fortunate to have things that other people don’t have,” he told local CBS affiliate WAFB. “I look at it as sometimes, how would I feel in this situation?”
Thanks to various donors, the closet is fully stocked with a collection of clothing items, from coats and sweatshirts to dresses and shoes.
PAM’s Pantry also offers school supplies, like markers, pencils, pencil sharpeners and binders.
“I wanted to make a difference in the school because I wanted everybody to feel equal,” he told WAFB. “Sometimes kids have less confidence in the classroom because of their apparel or what they have on.”
Neyland-Square’s mom, Amanda Square, told Good Morning America that her son has long had a giving streak, having hosted dinners for senior citizens and once donating 700 pairs of socks to homeless people.
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“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.”
PAM’s Pantry came to be thanks in part to a larger summer program at the school called SPARK (Student Program for Arts, Recreation, and Knowledge).
Principal Jessica Majors told WAFB she launched SPARK three years ago in order to create young leaders and give students the power to make improvements within the community.
Majors said other ideas besides the pantry included lunch with the principal to celebrate good grades, extended recess and a better selection of library books.
Port Allen Middle School is currently accepting donations that can be sent to the school’s front office.
As for Neyland-Square, the project has inspired a positive sense of change he hopes to carry on 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.”