The pandemic has hit everyone hard, and many families have found themselves out of work and struggling to pay their bills or put food on their table. However, a high school in Texas is doing its part to help, opening a student-run grocery “store” where the payment for food comes in the form of doing good deeds. How cool is that?
- It’s the school’s way of helping its students. Linda Tutt High School in Sanger recognized that many of its students and the students’ families were having a really hard time finding money to purchase basic necessities like hygiene products and food. So, they opened the store, which allows the students to “buy” products using points earned by performing acts of kindness and service to others.
- Roughly 3.6% of students at the school are considered homeless. That’s a large number and not something the school could simply sit back and ignore. “In our school district, there’s roughly 2,750 students enrolled and throughout the district, 43% of these students are considered economically disadvantaged,” principal Anthony Love told CNN. “About 3.6% of our students are considered homeless. We thought it was important to support them and their families and make sure they had food on the table.”
- The students run the store single-handedly. While Linda Tutt High School did team up with local organizations First Refuge Ministries and Texas Health Resources as well as the grocery store Albertsons, it’s the students themselves who keep the store going. They stock shelves, manage the inventory, and assist their fellow student “customers.”
- Working there gives the students a sense of purpose. As junior Preston Westbrook explained, working as one of the store’s managers, he loves knowing that he’s legitimately helping his fellow students and helping them feel as positive as possible through what’s a very difficult time. “I love this school, I help out in everything we do. And I’m a helper, it’s just what I do. I’m here to make sure students get what they need,” he said. “The store helped bring families’ spirits up during the pandemic, especially for people who lost family members. The students who come in are just so happy, they always have a smile on their face.”
- The store is open to all students in the school district. Each student has a set number of base points which is determined by how many people are in their family. From there, they can earn extra points by doing well in class, helping out around the school by tutoring younger students or doing a shift in the library, or simply doing something nice for their fellow students. What an incredible system!