‘My life has changed’: Bastrop students help classmates in need

Bastrop County

BASTROP, Texas (KXAN) — Tucked inside an unassuming warehouse on the edge of the Bastrop High campus is an ever-expanding closet, filled with styles and sizes of all sorts.

Tuesday Junior Alicia Belman sorted through the very first row of clothes, seeking out a pair of jeans. After a few minutes, she’s found a romper, top, and “cute” pair of Rue21 jeans. 

“I come here and I find it, if there’s something I need I’ll always find it,” Belman said.

Belman then put the clothes in a bag and walked out — all of it free. 

“That’s amazing like, it’s helping not only me but other people,” she said. 

The idea is one that originated from heartbreak. 

Last year, recent Bastrop High graduate Christian Harman unexpectedly died during a fishing trip. An autopsy revealed an enlarged heart — something his family never knew.

“He definitely would be surprised, he always was red and he blushed,” said Christian’s Sister Caitlyn Harman.

The concept for Christians’ Closet came days after his death, when the school’s student government was talking about the type of person that would give the shirt off their back. 

Christian’s name came up, and the idea was born.

In the year since, Christian’s Closet has grown from a small corner of a classroom to a warehouse at Bastrop High. It’s also expanded to three other campuses, Cedar Creek High, Bastrop Middle School, and Lost Pines Elementary.

Sixty-nine percent of students in Bastrop ISD are classified as economically disadvantaged. That comes out to roughly 7,500 students.

Student Council President Abby Valderrama helped grow the closet and says it’s some of the students you’d least expect who need help.

“Now that we can help so many people in our own school, it’s just amazing,” Valderrama said.

That includes students like Belman, who says Christian’s Closet has given her a newfound confidence.

“My life has changed so much in a whole year. It’s amazing, and I’m proud to be where I’m at right now,” Belman said.

Christian’s Closet has an immediate need for shorts, sweaters, shoes and new undergarments for students of all ages and sizes. Donations can be made at the Bastrop High School office from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

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