Two Piner Coaches Giving Back To Students
When they first came to Piner Middle School in 2021, coaches Tommy Reason and Alex Little discussed with other coaches about how to make lasting impacts on their students.
“We talked about how we could help the school and the students beyond the contractual duties, beyond our work hours,” Little said. “Coach Reason has a lot of connections in the community, and I had a lot as well from my work as a realtor.”
Together, they pooled their resources that year to form Project Generosity, a charity project run by the pair. A backpack giveaway and shoe drive were the first projects Reason and Little took on two years ago, and the two coaches also worked together recently to sponsor items for the Functional Academic Life Skills class at Piner.
“We started with the idea of doing what we can to help the kids,” Reason said. “No small gesture is too small.”
Project Generosity has seen huge community support. The shoe drive, called Kicks For Kids, has donated over 130 pairs of gently used and new shoes to students in need, and the impact of a new pair of shoes is very real.
“It’s priceless,” Reason said. “You can see the confidence, and the student walks with a pep in their step.”
Not only does Project Generosity impact students, each donation of a backpack or a pair of shoes strengthens the community itself.
“When we have members of the community invested in our students, it builds a stronger and more positive culture for both Sherman ISD and our community,” Little said.
The pair send out Amazon wishlists to community members and businesses, knowing that some people prefer to donate items instead of making monetary donations. In the middle of organizing and giving away items, the coaches take time to impart lessons.
“We talk to the kids about compassion and about selflessness often,” Reason said. “The students ask why we do it, and we do it because we want to help. We tell them to just be kind to people. One small act of kindness goes a long way.”
Project Generosity began with a focus on Piner students, but it’s evolved into something bigger. Reason and Little are hoping they can help inspire similar efforts at other SISD campuses.
“The ultimate goal is taking this districtwide, but if we’re going to do that, we’ll need to have more people behind that,” Little said. “We’re just two people here at Piner.”
Reason and Little aren’t stopping because of the summer. On July 22, Project Generosity will hold its second annual backpack giveaway at Fairview Park. Two $500 school shopping sprees sponsored by community businesses will also be given away.
“The community support has been humbling,” Reason said. “I never expected it to grow so much.”
To learn more about Project Generosity and how to support them, visit their Facebook group, called Project Generosity - Sherman.