The number of high school students who are homeless would amaze most Americans. Typically, when someone thinks of the homeless population, they think of someone who possibly has a substance abuse problem or is simply down on their luck. When one custodian realized students at her school needed help, she took it upon herself to fill the need.
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Carolyn Collins isn’t your normal everyday custodian. She is a woman who has experienced hardship. Her son was brutally murdered during a home invasion, and since then, she has kept to herself quietly mopping floors and keeping Tucker High School in Georgia tidy.
She began to notice multiple students being dropped off early or sleeping in their cars in the parking lot. She overheard some talking about how hungry they were. She could tell they needed help but were ashamed to ask.
Collins thought of her late son, and how any one of these teens could have been her child. She didn’t go to the school’s administration. She didn’t make a big deal out of it. Instead, she took it upon herself to create a “Care Closet.”
According to 11alive, Collins uses a spare custodian closet in the back of the school to help children who may be wearing dirty clothes or who don’t have school materials. “These are our babies,” Collins said. “They just want to learn. I just want to take care of them. Some of them sleeping in cars, some in hotels.”
She doesn’t want any of these young men and women to end up like her son. “I’m just trying to our young boys from stealing and killing,” she said. “I’m trying to give ’em all they need in this closet.”
When asked how she is able to keep her closet always stocked to the brim with school materials and clothes, Collins calmly explained she uses her own funds. Collins knows there are plenty of kids around her who may be too ashamed to ask for the help they need.
“There’s probably more of them, but a lot of kids don’t say anything,” Collins said. “I tell the teachers a lot, ‘If you see a child with their head down, the same clothes on day after day, let me know.'”
Sometimes it’s the little things that can make all the difference in a young person’s life. But to the kids she helps, it’s a lifesaver.