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Church collects donations to purchase caps and gowns for homeless students

Shepherdsville First Church of the Nazarene has already surpassed its fundraising goal.

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. — Many high school students spend four years looking forward to graduation day.

But it’s a day others might worry about, if they can’t afford the cap and gown that go along with the day’s celebration.

"When you have to choose between what am I going to eat today, am I going to have gas in my car that some of our families are sleeping in, and paying $50 for a cap and gown, it becomes low on the totem pole," Bullitt Central Youth Service Center Coordinator, Christy Hardin said.

Hardin doesn’t want those students to feel left out.

"I have had a student who didn't want to walk the line because he didn't want to ask for help. But he had spent the last semester of his senior year living in a tent," Hardin said.

That's where Pastor Rob Beckett came in.

"It has been on my heart for some time,” Beckett said.

He asked Hardin what he and the Shepherdsville First Church of the Nazarene could do to help.

Pastor Beckett started a Facebook fundraiser to raise $650 to buy the school's 13 homeless seniors their caps and gowns.

He ended up hitting that goal in just a few hours, and the donations kept coming.

"At the moment we are at $3,200, $3,500 maybe, with a $650 goal," Beckett said.

Those extra funds will go towards helping homeless and low-income students experience things like prom and the senior class trip.

"This is another way that allows our seniors to be normal," Hardin said.

Pastor Beckett says this is a testament that shows how people in their community support each other.

"I have found out that my experience has been if I let people know what the need is, they respond in incredible ways," Beckett said.

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