PASS CHRISTIAN -- Hayes Leyser, a freshman at Pass Christian High School, is not your average high school student.
He does make good grades and plays sports, but he also has his own 501(c)3 through his church, and he gets to school early every day to work on his project. And no, he's not doing it for a club or the Boy Scouts or his church; he does what he does because he wants to help others.
At the beginning of the fall semester, Hayes started "Pass Packs," a program where he fills backpacks once a week with food items for students receiving reduced or free lunches at Pass High.
The students who receive the backpacks are determined by the school's counselor. Hayes currently serves eight students.
"We give them two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, a vegetable a fruit and a drink," he said.
The items in the packs were received through donations from students, faculty members, church members and people in the community.
His mother, Leslie Leyser, who teaches at Pass High, said his donations have been steady.
"He has not run out of food," she said. "When he came to us with this idea, his dad thought he wouldn't follow through and that we would be buying the food for him, but he's done a great job at getting food donated. He worked out of my (class)room for a while, but now he has his own food closet at the school."
Hayes said he plans to expand his services.
"I want to help more students at Pass High and then at the middle school and elementary schools," he said. "One day, I would like to add clothing to the backpacks, but not until I can help feed everyone who needs it at Pass High."
Because of Hayes' drive and compassion, eight Pass High students receive needed food every week. But he has no idea who is affected by his kindness.
"I have no idea who is getting the backpacks," he said. "I just get the food and fill them and the school distributes them."