|Glen Baker collected donations at the Stop & Shop in South Yarmouth.|
In many ways Glen Baker is your average fifth grader. He plays football and baseball and enjoys hanging out with his friends at the Nathaniel H. Wixon Innovation School in South Dennis.
It is there, while attending a school assembly focused on the issue of homelessness in November, Glen was inspired to do something unusual for an 11-year-old. He wanted to make a positive difference in his community.
So in the three days leading up to Thanksgiving, Glen set up a table and some bins inside the Stop & Shop in South Yarmouth, and spent a few hours after school collecting donations – money, food and clothes – for Cape Cod’s homeless men and women.
As he manned the table the first night, Baker said he was taken aback at the assembly when he learned that, “some of my friends were homeless at a point in their lives.”
Feeling sympathy for them was not enough. Baker wanted to help them, and others in similar situations, by organizing a drive with all donations going to the NOAH Shelter in Hyannis.
With his mother, Darlene Baker, and older brother, Drew Cochran, 17, by his side, Glen smiled as one store employee commended him for his efforts. “This is awesome,” she said. “I’m so proud of you.”
“Here’s a few dollars. You might want to stuff it in there,” one customer said, handing Glen a donation to put in a small, clear plastic container.
Another customer, having just won $100 on a scratch ticket, paid it forward by giving some of her winnings to Glen’s drive for the homeless. “This is my lucky day so it’s your lucky day,” she said.
As his donations began to slowly pile up, Drew marveled at the small act of kindness his brother was displaying. “It is pretty neat,” Drew said. “It caught me off guard when he said he was going to help out the homeless. He is only 11 years old. You wouldn’t think an 11-year-old would do this.”
|Glen Baker with Greg Bar of the NOAH Shelter|
In total, Glen was able to collect over $1,000 worth of donations that included coats, gloves, toiletries, food and $583 that will go to help those staying at the NOAH Shelter.
A little less than a week after he finished his drive, Glen had a chance to meet those he was helping when he stopped by the shelter to drop off the donations. “This is Glen,” said shelter director Greg Bar as he introduced him to the roughly 20 clients sitting in the NOAH Shelter common room. “This 11-year-old kid had an idea that, ‘Hey, I can do something to help people.’ So he set up a table at Stop & Shop and people dropped off food, coats and gloves for people who are in need. Isn’t that cool?”