WEST SEATTLE, Wash. – Sailors assigned to the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) donated 220 backpacks to students at Denny International Middle School in West Seattle, Wash., September 1st.
The contribution was planned by a former Denny International Middle School student and current Nimitz Sailor, Engineman 1st Class Garret Rochon who wanted to give back to the neighborhood he grew up in.
Each backpack contained the necessary supplies for students to get through the school year, including a set of notebooks, pens, paper and colored pencils.
“When you go from carrying a grocery bag full of your school supplies to having a fresh backpack with supplies in there, that’s a huge boost of confidence to these young students,” said Rochon.
“It really shows the commitment to kids and our community,” said Principle Jeff Clark. “Parents are really excited about this project. “
The effect was noticeable on the parents, with several even coming to tears while going through the bags with their children.
“It’s not just about serving our country, it’s about serving our community as well,” added Rochon. “The communities we were raised in are, in part, responsible for the men and women we’ve grown to be today, and we were given an opportunity to pay our respects.”
Nimitz plans to continue the event annually by working in tandem with the school.
Story and photos by MC3 Sam Bacon