“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” - Maya Angelou
This quote by Maya Angelou is one that 13-year-old Chase Neyland-Square practices on a daily basis. An eighth grader at Port Allen Middle School in Louisiana, Chase created a community focused pantry to provide clothes and other supplies for children in need.
According to Good Morning America, “PAMs Pantry” is filled with clothes, shoes, and hygiene products for students at Port Allen Middle. The idea for the pantry came about when students were asked to submit ideas for ways that they can help others at the school. Chase came up with the idea and helped staff members to get the pantry together. Afterwards, donations of jackets, shoes, school supplies and even football cleats from the community started rolling in.
Chase helps to organize the pantry and the school’s principal, Jessica Major, and secretary use discretion to distribute the items to students.
“My favorite part about helping with the pantry is getting types of clothes and sorting them out to give to various people," he told GMA.
Principal Major said that many of the students at Port Allen Middle come from low income neighborhoods and because they’re a small school, they can really help the kids where they need it the most.
"We really want the kids to feel like they have somewhere to go when they need something. We only have 215 kids so we're able to get to know them really well...and try to help them where we can," Major said.
Both of Chase’s parents say they are extremely proud of him, but this isn’t anything new. His mom, Amanda Square, said that Chase is always giving back to his community. He has hosted dinners for senior citizens and once donated 700 pairs of socks for the homeless.
"It makes me proud because we're very blessed and I always encourage him to bless others," Square said.
Through Chase's upbringing and passion for people it's clear that he understands his ability to good for others through service.
“It makes me feel good because I know that I can make a difference in my school."
As of right now, the pantry is thriving, however Chase has issued a request for more shoe donations.
Keep making a difference, Chase!