South Carolina teen collects hundreds of backpacks for needy

ajc.com

Credit: Via Facebook

Credit: Via Facebook

Jaylin Clyburn mows lawns in his community, and now he's helping his fellow students

The bustling, anticipatory spirit of the back-to-school experience has been compromised with the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the varied ways students will start their new school year. Whether starting at a school building or at home, 13-year-old Jaylin Clyburn has made an effort to bring that spirit back.

The teenager held his own school supplies drive Tuesday in Lancaster, South Carolina. His hope was easing the worries of families dealing with the coronavirus. It was his second backpack and school supply drive, according to his Facebook page. He had also given away school supplies Saturday, tallying more than 300 backpacks.

Jaylin told news station WTOC on Tuesday that he saved up money to provide the supplies along with some help from the community. Throughout the summer, he also cut several of his neighbors’ yards as an assist during the difficult summer.

“It’s not all about self. It’s for each other,” Jaylin said. “I saved some of my money up to help kids because, you know, during this economy with this COVID people are out of work and don’t have that much money,” he said. “So I just wanted to go to help some kids, bless some kids.”

The backpacks are full of school supplies including crayons, pencils and paper. His own experiences with backpack drives shaped his desire to give back.

Students in Lancaster County Schools’ reopening will either attend in-person classes or virtual learning. Students will either have an A day or a B day. A fifth day will be used for extra learning inside the classrooms. Like many school systems, students, parents and staff are anxiously awaiting the start of the school year, which will commence Aug. 31.

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Despite the stressful time, Jaylin is thankful to inspire fellow youngsters and ease the stress of purchasing the items that will be needed at home or in classrooms this fall.

“A kid came up there and said I inspired them. That’s what I am out here to do. I’m out here trying to inspire other kids to come up here and have your own money and save up your own money, and I really do like me inspiring other kids,” he said.