Boy Scouts from Troop 43 came to Our Lady of Perpetual Hope Catholic School to drop off more than 200 uniforms for every student to start their school year. It was the completion of 15-year-old Grant Cooper's Eagle Scout project.
"I wanted them to have a sense of pride in their school and themselves," Cooper said. "I figured that I could be a helping hand, that I could help them out and make a real difference in the kids' lives."
Cooper's Eagle Scout project was a way to pay it forward to a teacher he once had, who is now the principal at Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
"I knew that this was going to impact our community in a very important way," Principal Maria Claudia Searle said.
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More than 90% of the student body lives at or below the poverty line. New uniforms are a luxury few can afford.
Cooper spent months fundraising door-to-door and online, as well as meeting with the uniform company to coordinate the order.
"Part of my goal with this is to raise the kids' self-esteem because if you have a kid wearing their brother's brother's brother's old uniform shirt, at this point they're really washed out," Cooper said. "So I figured a little bit of a morale boost."
Principal Searle said the uniforms are especially important now that students are learning from home.
"Being dressed in your uniform contributes to getting in that mindset... that you are studying. That this is different than being just at home," Searle said.
Originally Cooper planned to host an event to hand out the uniforms in person. The pandemic forced a change of plans. Now teachers and nuns will hand the new uniforms out to students, who may never know who was responsible for them.
"That doesn't really matter to me. I just want them to know that they have it and that someone wanted to give it to them," Cooper said. " My hope is that someday at least one of these kids is going to get to pay it forward to someone else."