Kirkwood High School student newspaper

Four neediest cases: freshman

December 12, 2017


Gutter is a Yorkie Chihuahua. He has little doggie syndrome: he thinks he is bigger and better than all the other dogs out there. Gutter’s owner walks him, feeds him and cleans his cage. Gutter’s owner dog-sits for money to buy clothes for school and other things he needs or wants. Gutter’s owner is a 15-year-old boy who has grown up in a single-parent home.

When money gets tight, his mom turns to Kirkcare or aid from their church. His mom works a part-time job as a caretaker for an autistic child and is also a full-time student attending school to learn American Sign Language, but she still makes time for her son.

“Once a week, we have family movie night,” he said. “The dog sit[s] on my lap and watches TV.”

He is the youngest of four children. His mom gave up his three younger siblings for adoption. He was born prematurely, weighing barely over 2 pounds. As a result, he has had several surgeries throughout his life.  He attended Robinson Elementary for a short period of time, then lived in Kansas for five years with the woman who had adopted his three other siblings. He was homeschooled there before coming back to KSD for fifth grade. He got to visit his mom while he was living in Kansas, but the adjustment was difficult.

“Living far away from her was hard on me,” he said. “I don’t like change.”

That has not been the hardest thing for him, however. The worst thing about his situation, he said, has been his dad.

“My dad left when I was born,” he said. “He has nothing to do with me.”

But being back at school has been a positive change for him. Although he has to walk or ride his bike to school every day, he said he wants to get good grades.

“School is making me smarter,” he said. “It’s making me more responsible.”

When school gets out for winter break, he and his mom will celebrate Christmas. Christmas is a hard time for his family. Two years ago shortly before Christmas, one of his close friends passed away from cancer. Her name was Annie.

“We got all of her Christmas decorations,” he said. “We got her tree and the very last thing she made for her tree was this star. But it wasn’t a star. We call it the Annie Angel. She made a stuffed animal angel that looked just like her. We put that on the top.”

Donation List:

Person A (Male)
Underwear size X/XL in Youth
Socks size Adult small
Medium shirts
Tennis shoes size 6.5 Youth
Bluetooth/waterproof speaker
Bluetooth earbuds
Alarm clock at Walgreens, shows time digitally on the ceiling
Pant size 12

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