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Charlie Pirtle, Noah Fletcher: On a mission

Giving backpacks to kids

By DAWN HANKINS - dhankins@t-g.com
Posted 8/23/22

Middle schoolers Charlie Pirtle and Noah Fletcher have already identified themselves to many in this community as young soldiers at heart. This summer, they’ve been on a mission to help K-5 …

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Charlie Pirtle, Noah Fletcher: On a mission

Giving backpacks to kids

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Middle schoolers Charlie Pirtle and Noah Fletcher have already identified themselves to many in this community as young soldiers at heart. This summer, they’ve been on a mission to help K-5 families. They call it operation in need. But better known locally as, “Back to School Bash.”  

They organized and hosted a back-to-school bash at Harris Middle School gym in July. It was a first of epic proportion, especially organized by two students, ages 13 and 9, according to school system officials.  

The event included lots of good food and games elementary style games but also a lot of school information. Though fun and games, there was a bigger project Charlie and Noah wanted to make sure at least 1,000 of Bedford County K-5 students had enough supplies and backpacks to start the school year. The school system supplied the list of students most in need. Mission accomplished!  

While they did most of the leg work, the two young men had to get some help from adults to get from point A to point B during their fundraising efforts.  

You see, despite their philanthropic mindsets, they’re not old enough to drive. Perhaps this is what makes their story so endearing? Charlie is in his second year at Cascade Middle and this will be Noah’s first.  

As students, they enjoy everything from band to photography. Noah has already established himself as a great student leader and looks forward to ROTC. Charlie is thinking of ministry work for the future, but isn’t ruling out a military career. No doubt some parents were pretty elated when they looked into those backpacks.  

Even with careful shopping, Charlie and Noah know it costs at least $30 these days to just get the required learning items needed for classroom start up. That doesn’t include wipes, tissues, etc. Despite COVID and rising supply prices, the teens say they had enough contributions from businesses, individuals and churches to make this back-to-school endeavor happen.  

They believe ‘operation in need’ will continue to grow. They already have future plans on the table. Charlie and Noah made sure they did all the leg work for this event. Though, they had a lot of great volunteers at the bash, which was held at Harris Middle.  

The school system drew upon its lists and resources for finding the students most likely in need for school supplies. Families were called privately and given instructions for picking up the backpacks. Small wonder they have the future career ambitions that they do.  

Noah is even thinking he might want to be a college history professor. Ministry work seems like a good fit for Charlie; his family’s been involved in such outreach in Murfreesboro since he was 7. He says the Christmas of his 1st grade year, he thought about how he wanted to organize a backpack ministry.  

Despite the pandemic and fundraising struggles, he and his family fulfilled that calling in Murfreesboro for several years. Those thoughts he had as a first grader now continue as a teen. Bedford County is now blessed as the beneficiary, as Charlie’s family moved here about 2 years ago. 

 The Pirtles credit Tammy Garrett, local school superintendent and formerly a Murfreesboro principal, with always being supportive.  

Actually, Charlie and Noah are new friends, meeting just last year through mutual school system connections. The two friends soon recognized that they share a common spirit, and had the spiritual gifts, especially combined, to really help others.  

The two hope to expand the Back-to-School bash and backpack give-a-way in the future to all grades in Bedford County. They note such an event is dependent on local support. Ever stalwart, that is likely to come to fruition.  

The two Cascade Middle students state for the record that they’re not doing this for personal gain. It’s from their hearts. Noah believes “everyone” has a servant heart. Many just have to reach down deep and find it.  

Charlie and Noah are obviously way ahead of the game when it comes to matters of servitude and the heart. 

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