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UPDATE: Clothes, supplies donated by Bright School students distributed to refugees

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Clothes donated by families and students at the Bright School were distributed to refugee families in Kurdistan who had to leave their homes and flee from ISIS.

A second grader at the school and her family helped organize the drive last school year. They shipped the clothes to their cousins.

Family members overseas were able to distribute the clothes to families, along with diapers and baby formula purchased with donations, according to a school newsletter.

"Thank you in Arabic is 'Shukran.' 'Shukran' is what the people in the photos yelled out to Fahad as he brought the goods into the distribution area. ... 'Shukran' is what our family would like to say to the entire Bright School community for showing such amazing generosity," said Deena Alani, in a newsletter. Her daughter, Leya, is a student at Bright School.

O.J. Morgan, head of school at Bright School, said he's glad students and staff were able to make a difference.

"While we studied safely in our school, those children had to move to refugee camps with no schools and in the dead of winter," he said in the newsletter. "It warms my heart to know that Bright School has made such a difference to people in need."


A Chattanooga second-grader has extended family forced into refugee camps by the threat of violence from ISIS in Iraq. Now her classmates are doing a small thing to make a bigger impact 6,000 miles away.  
 
Kids at Bright School began collecting warm clothes for the student's family and other refugees this week.

Almost 900,000 people have been forced to leave their homes in Iraq as ISIS militants take over their towns. Included in those refugees are family members of one local family.

Deena and Wesam Alani are both from Iraq and much of their extended family, friends and neighbors have been forced to leave their homes for refugee camps.

"The number of small coffins leaving the tents is very sad," Deena said. "First thing that comes to mind is they're out of their homes, they don't have homes, they're not in school, they haven't been to school in a year. now it's getting cold and they were hit by a snow storm."

The Alanis say the refugees, many living in tents, lack proper winter clothing as the cold months begin.

So the Alanis have started a collection of gently used coats, sweaters, blankets, and warm shoes at Bright School where their daughter Leya is a 2nd grader.

"These are children that have nothing to do with anything. They're in a situation we couldn't even imagine," she said of the Iraqi refugees.

The collection will run through mid-February when the family will ship the items to their cousins for distribution at the camp.

The collection is called "Bright Hearts, Caring Coats" and the school invited anyone who wants to help to drop off donations at the school.

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