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St. Pete High School teacher named $10k Golden Grant recipient for Green Devils Closet

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Posted at 7:02 PM, Feb 15, 2022

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A St. Petersburg High School teacher is getting recognized for her work helping students in need. She’s one of a handful of Central Florida educators receiving a McDonald’s Golden Grant worth thousands of dollars.

For years, Tracey Keim, a teacher at St. Petersburg High School, has found a special way to help the Green Devil family: through a 6x9, 54 square foot space called the Green Devils Closet and Pantry.

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“It quickly became evident that there was a need far greater as far as undergarments and deodorant and hygiene [products] and socks and food items, book bags, things that if you’re on a limited budget if you have $10, how are you going to pay for those items?” said Keim.

Starting in 2006, the program evolved from a closet for prom dresses and work clothes to more basic needs. Keim said the closet is to address uncertainty.

“When students need something, they can text me. They have a list of what they need. They can come and get it,” said Keim. “I would say we’ve helped probably more than 600 or 700 students.”

The closet’s message of kindness and helping others didn’t go unnoticed. She was just announced as a $10,000 McDonald’s Golden Grant recipient for the program, awarded to deserving educators who represent programs and organizations that fuel the imagination, education, and growth of students.

“Out of nearly 1,200 applications, the Green Devils closet was chosen,” said Keim. “Almost fell out of my chair when I got the letter.”

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The generosity of Closeteers, or donors, is often highlighted on social media. Keim explained the program acts as a testament of community giving, showing even the smallest of spaces can serve others in the biggest way.

“I thought I would do something bigger and better with my life, but there’s nothing better than helping people,” said Keim.

If you would like more information on how to help the Green Devils Closet and Pantry, click here.