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Pursuit of Selflessness

Copper Hills teacher uses wedding registry to donate to homeless grizzlies, receives help from around the world.

Christina Tran, Managing Editor

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Teachers are a powerful force. Not because they determine whether you pass or fail, but because they have the ability to help students learn in the most efficient ways. They create the foundation that we build our futures on. However, that’s not all that they can do. They have the power to change students’ lives outside of school, and that is exactly what Ms. Rickee Stewart, a teacher here at Copper Hills High School, is doing.

Recently, Stewart got engaged and her wedding is in September. As the time of her wedding is rapidly approaching, the lovely couple decided to set up their bridal registry. The list doesn’t consist of a waffle maker or blender, but is made up of shoes and school supplies to give to Grizzlies struggling to get it themselves.

More than 100 students here at Copper Hills are considered homeless, and when Stewart discovered this fact, she couldn’t sit back and do nothing. Stewart has already taken previous action to lessen homeless students’ stress. She has created a food pantry where students can go grab food, while remaining completely anonymous. The inspiration doesn’t stop there. Stewart has seen homelessness beyond the halls of Copper Hills High. Stewart and her fiance have seen homelessness envelop the streets of downtown Salt Lake, and that’s what pushed them to give back. Both of them wanted to give and not mindlessly throw away; they wanted to help.

At the beginning, Ms. Stewart thought small. All she asked for was shoes and backpacks. To her surprise, everything was funded in a very short amount of time. People who donated privately messaged her asking what else she needed, so she began various projects asking for funds to go towards supplies, and every project was completely funded. The donations came pouring in from all over the world. She got donations from Canada, the UK, and to her surprise, Uruguay. The kindness of others was truly shining through.

Currently, Ms. Stewart is working with the Jordan School District to see what else she can try to supply to students. So far, Rickee was able to gather the funds for $10,000 worth of coats. That money bought about 600 coats from Amazon ranging in many different sizes, but that doesn’t even fulfill half of the demand. She will be continuing to try to find funding for at least 550 more coats to satisfy the need. Rickee has also created another project to provide sleeping bags and tents. She was motivated to begin funding for this cause when she discovered that a graduated senior spent his junior year living behind a convenience store.

Asking for help, especially for high schoolers, is such a hard thing to do, but Ms. Stewart wants to reach a helping hand out to those students. She wants to let them know that they aren’t alone, that our community cares, that she cares. Copper Hills knows what kind of teacher she is, and now, the whole world knows.

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Pursuit of Selflessness