GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — It costs nothing to be kind, but a penny in the right place can go a long way. Gloversville High School senior Jeremiah Miles says when he saw one classmate struggling without enough clothes to wear, he couldn’t ignore it.
“I was like alright well there has to be something that I can do, because I went to school with the kid since kindergarten,” Miles explains to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.
He says after talking with his best friend, Leona Loucks, he posted on Snapchat asking if anyone would be willing to join him for a shopping trip buying their classmate what they’d need this winter. He never expected just how many students would chip in—each with their own reason to give back.
“When I was younger, my dad always told me that he grew up not having stuff, and he always made sure I had everything. So like in my perspective, I want to make sure that everyone else has what I can have too,” says senior Anessa Reid.
“I noticed a lot of people they will get bullied for like their clothes and everything like that, and I just feel like that’s wrong,” says Loucks, a junior.
“A lot of human decency was left through COVID,” adds fellow junior Maddie Kluska. “With the mask mandates and stuff, people only cared about their own health and no one else’s, and like I just think we should care more.”
So all on their own–without any prompting from their teachers or parents–these teens set out to pick out what their classmate might like and need.
“Us shopping, it was actually kind of fun to be able to help someone out and think about, oh maybe they’ll like this, maybe they’ll like this. You know you’re helping them out. It just felt good,” says Miles.
While a few went on the shopping trip, others collected money from friends and family for another round and continue to post on social media. One student also decided to give new meaning to old items they had at home.
“I donated like a lot of my dad‘s clothes. He passed away recently, so I feel like he would want that,” says junior Jackie Rattray. “At first I wasn’t too okay with the idea of giving his stuff away, but he always taught me to like think about other people and to help people.”
They say they decided not to name their classmate to protect their privacy, but it’s reward enough to see them feeling better and the school district has taken notice as well.
“You could tell when he’s wearing the stuff he’s a lot more confident and a lot more happy. He’s vibrant, and it’s great to see,” says Miles.
“We are a high-needs district, and it’s important to point out some of the kids who are giving don’t necessarily have a lot themselves, but they chose to give it to someone else,” says Gloversville Enlarged School District Superintendent David Halloran.
“I couldn’t be prouder of the students who did this, so recognizing them, recognizing those students at the December board meeting certainly made sense,” he goes on to say.
These students will receive recognition at the upcoming GESD Board of Education meeting on Monday, December 5. Halloran says they will also be featured on the district’s website.
While the teens say they’re grateful–if a bit overwhelmed by the attention–they say their selfless act is one people should repeat every day.
“I don’t think you should do it for thanks, and I don’t think that’s why any of us did it,” says senior Jade Angus. “You don’t need recognition every time, most people should feel the need. You should just feel the desire to go out of your way to do something nice for someone.”