Football and good deeds: Oak Ridge students donate school supplies

By Erin Murray, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, August 11, 2017, 6:14 PM EDT

In a green space next to Lake Eola, 18-year-old Darvion Bailey throws a football to three of his fellow football teammates at Oak Ridge High School.

  • 4 Oak Ridge High School students buy school supplies
  • Students donated the supplies for less fortunate students
  • Supplies went to the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida

All four are headed into their senior year starting Monday.

"You can say we are best friends — brothers," Bailey said, laughing.

After a summer of part-time jobs, teenage cares and football, the young men came up with a way to end their vacation.

"One day, it just passed our minds when we were together," Bailey said. "We were just like, 'Why don't we just get together and do something for somebody else for once?' Instead of thinking about ourselves."

The four pooled together their final summer paychecks and purchased school supplies.

"I was so surprised. It made me one proud mother," said Joy Christopher, Bailey's mom. "I think I cried for a whole day. At their age, they are focused on other things. They are trying to keep up with fashion, they are trying to buy shoes, you know, they are trying to get ready for so many different things. So it just amazes me how they actually took the time out to do something for someone less fortunate."

The packed the school supplies into more than 60 bags and then hand-delivered them to the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida.

A fourth of the people at the coalition are children, and CEO John Hearn said receiving donation from the Oak Ridge students without the help or encouragement of a parent is rare.

"Without his mother's encouragement or whatever, for him to kind of reach out and to want to do something like this for kids at the coalition who really need that help," Hearn said.

The deed was intended to be a selfless act, but all four said they got something in return.

"It felt great, like you are helping someone else's life," said Tyler Towns, an incoming senior at Oak Ridge.

Jaquez Chambers, another Oak Ridge senior, added: "It means a lot to me to finally not think about yourself and just, like, try to help somebody out the best way you can."

"I believe that if you are fortunate enough then you should bless another person that is less fortunate," Lawarren Meadows said.

To learn more about ways to help the Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, go here