Local students collecting donations for Hurricane Harvey victims - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Local students collecting donations for Hurricane Harvey victims

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

For about two weeks the middle and high school students at East Hamilton School have been collecting donations for Hurricane Harvey victims. Many people in east Texas are still recovering from the storm. The donation drive is East Hamilton's version of "Stuff the Bus", hoping to help a community just like theirs.

"I think about everything I did to get ready to go to school and then imagine not having that. Everything that you have around you, and it's gone," says social studies teacher Ellen Releford.

Releford says it was the students' idea to do a donation drive after she expressed the importance of helping people after tragic events like the hurricane that hit Houston.

After finding out about the devastation at Roland P. Harris Elementary School, bookkeeper Paige Stewart was proud of East Hamilton students and the surrounding communities for getting involved.

"Eighty-percent of their students lost everything in the flood, and the school was so badly damaged," says Stewart.

Seniors Kolbey Ferguson and Logan Kenney helped spread the word.

"I'm an officer for the senior class," says Ferguson. "So I knew that there was a need out there and when I heard that we were going to do a drive for a specific elementary school, I really felt that was something I really wanted to be involved in."

"I just really wanted to help and give back to the community and help others that were in need," says Kenney.

People have dropped off school supplies, household supplies, clothing, and shoes. Desks and chairs from former schools have been donated by Hamilton County.

Mohawk has donated carpeting, while Transco Logistics has supplied the 53-foot trailer to store the donated items. Avenger Logistics will provide a driver to take the trailer to Texas.

Roland P. Harris principal Adelina Alcala is says she's amazed at the generosity of our community which is so far away from hers. School was supposed to start a few days after Harvey made landfall. Alcala says it's been difficult for the students and faculty.

"When someone reaches out that doesn't even know you, from a completely different state, everything they're doing for you is a blessing," says Alcala.

She says school could begin as early as the last week of September.

Students at East Hamilton School will collect donations through Friday, September 22. If you would like to help, please drop off items or cash/check at the school.

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