A Port Allen student's project to reduce bullying at his middle school received a significant boost after the eighth-grader appeared Tuesday on ABC's Good Morning America.
Last year, Chase Nyland-Square started PAMS Pantry in a tiny room tucked behind the Port Allen Middle School gym that's bursting with clean and modern clothes and school supplies. His classmates are free to help themselves to it when they need new clothes, a notebook or any of the other donated items inside.
And on Tuesday the project, an acronym for Port Allen Middle School, is getting likely its largest donation yet.
In a tiny room tucked behind the far side of the Port Allen Middle School gym, Chase Nyland-Square spends hours each week sorting crowded rack…
Good Morning America hosts announced plans during the show to donate $10,000 worth of clothes to the cause. Along with the donated clothes, Nyland-Square was also given tickets to "Hamilton" on Broadway.
Joined by his principal, Nyland-Square, a soft-spoken 13-year-old, said on the show that he just likes to help people.
"It always puts a smile on my face when I help somebody," he said during his national TV appearance. "It touches my heart when I can help somebody."
Principal Jessica Major said on the show that the pantry is one of several efforts she's encouraged the school's 218 students to pursue. She said it helps them feel like they have a say in how the school is run.
Nyland-Square pitched the idea to his principal as part of a class that requires one simple task: think of a way to improve the school.
He told The Advocate last month that he started the project to reduce school bullying. He said he worried that students who don't have access to new clothes or hygiene products are prone to targeting.
PAMS Pantry isn't the only charitable project Nyland-Square has tackled in recent months. Recently, he ran a donation drive that saw him gather for the homeless 600 pairs of socks, an item that's frequently in short supply at Baton Rouge-area shelters.
Nyland-Square's parents sat smiling in the crowd during the show.
"We always teach him that it's a blessing to be a blessing to others," his mother, Amanda, said on the show. "That has stuck with him."