A homeless McKinley Middle Magnet School student has set out to remedy the problems of those even less fortunate than her this Christmas season.
Destiny Fisher, a 13-year-old middle-schooler, started a project over the past several weeks, collecting food, clothes and other supplies for Baton Rouge’s people in need. Fisher and her family were in and out of hotels at the time, with no permanent housing as their mother struggled to make ends meet.
Fisher took the money that she had and used it to buy canned goods and other items for the homeless, and she encouraged her friends and family members to jump on board as well. She also created a PowerPoint to inspire the higher-ups at McKinley to donate.
“When we think of this generation, a lot of the kids, they’re all about the me, me, me,” said Wiley Brazier, principal of McKinley Middle. “To see that she wanted to do a project to help the homeless, it was very inspiring.”
Brazier asked Fisher to present her PowerPoint again to the school’s Parent Teacher Organization, which also wanted to help. They partnered with YMCA of the Capital Area and the Baton Rouge Food Bank.
Fisher ended up collecting around 70 pounds of food and couple of barrels of clothes, which the YMCA will distribute.
“I could see it was important to her,” said Fisher’s aunt, Rita Brooks. “She told her mom not to worry about getting her anything for Christmas.”
But in return, workers at the state’s Department of Wildlife and Fisheries who heard about the girl’s efforts pooled their money and surprised the seventh-grader and her family last week with their own Christmas gifts — a happy surprise, Brooks said.
The DWF workers, who each year provide Christmas gifts to a family in need, called the school’s principal seeking another family to support. Brazier said he immediately thought of Fisher and her family.
The workers then donated more than $1,000 in presents to Fisher’s family, which they opened on the last day of school before winter break.
The Fisher family received clothes, books, toys and more. Brazier called the scene a touching moment.
Brooks described Fisher, who is the oldest of her siblings, as energetic and athletic. She said Fisher loves to dance and often writes notes to brighten her mom’s day.
“She helps her mom a lot,” Brooks said.
Brooks said they are a tightly knit family, and that she was not surprised by Fisher’s efforts to help the hungry and poor. As Fisher has grown older and more mature, she said she has placed less emphasis on material things.