Many schools have recently started BackPack Programs. These aren’t necessarily state-funded, like the other initiatives they have been taking, like providing free breakfast and lunch to kids who do not have financial stability at home.
Because the BackPack Programs are not state-funded, it is usually up to local businesses and nonprofits to donate whatever food is needed.
However, in one Houston, Texas school, a 12-year-old student took it upon himself to provide the food for those who needed it.
A little boy by the name of Matthew Reel participated in a church function right before he turned 8-years-old. He helped fill things called “blessing bags” during his time there. These blessing bags included food, among other supplies, which he would pack and then deliver to the homeless and those in need.
At such a young age, the 8-year-old boy decided he no longer wanted a birthday party. He told his mother that and added that instead, he would like to donate the money that would’ve been put into that to people in need.
Of course, that was just the very beginning, as now Matthew is 12 and still up to big things. As he continued to volunteer, he noticed a majority of the people he was helping was his fellow classmates. Enter the BackPack Program.
Ever since he enlisted a couple more people to help him, it has grown into a larger effort than ever. It’s a nonprofit, in fact, called Matthew’s Birthday Wish. The nonprofit works to deliver two days-worth of food to about 24 students each week.
The number of students being helped will grow, too.
Good Morning America even noticed the young boy’s selfless good deeds, deciding to name him Houston’s Hometown Hero.
Matthew proves that it doesn’t matter how young or old you are. It’s never too early (or too late!) to begin helping those in need. And if you recognize your passion early on in life, go for it! Don’t let anyone stop you or tell you that you are too young.
Sylvester Turner, the Mayor of Houston, even took note of Matthew’s progress and personally thanked him for all of the hard work he has accomplished in order to better their city.
Turner even declared July 10 as Matthew Reel Day. Not a bad feat for a boy who has not even entered high school yet!
Matthew believes that his life purpose is to help others, and he is most certainly doing that so far. If he has already accomplished so much — his own profit and his very own holiday — just imagine all of the things he can do by the time he’s 20!
On the Feeding America website, they say of the BackPack Program: “For more than 15 years, the Feeding America BackPack Program has been helping children get the nutritious and easy-to-prepare food they need to get enough to eat on the weekends. Today, bags of food are assembled at more than 160 local food banks and then distributed to more than 450,000 children at the end of the week.”
Go Matthew, go!
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Source: Inspire More