FREEPORT, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Students at Freeport High School have been collecting donations of cash and school supplies for the past two months to help students still reeling from Hurricane Sandy in Freeport, New York. Now they are gathering all the paper, binders, calculators and other supplies to deliver in person early next week.
"It just shows how this town is so awesome," said senior Abigial Smith, who came up with the idea and has helped organize the project. "They've given a lot, and we asked around Christmas time and some people are having, it is cold, some heating costs and stuff and they are willing to help out some people they don't even know that are in a different state, so it really makes me appreciate that I live here and that there are all these awesome people around."
The students loaded boxes stuffed full of school supplies into a large passenger van and another car in preparation ofthe roughly 350 mile trip south.
On Monday, the students and staff will deliver the supplies, and more than a thousand dollars worth of gift cards, to three schools in the area: Freeport (NY) High School, the Giblyn Elementary School in Freeport and East Rockaway High School.
Service learning coordinator Dede Bennell says she has been in close contact with the administrators of the three schools, and knows the donations are already greatly appreciated.
"We have been reading about it and we know that people are still in great need down there, but I also understand that the devastation is still very apparent," said Bennell.
She says students at East Rockaway High School still have not been able to attend classes at their school because it was so badly damaged by the storm in late October.
Bennell says not only will these supplies help these students get back on their feet, but it has also been a great lesson for her students organizing such a large relief effort, planning for the trip and getting a chance to see first-hand how their hard work will impact others.