Two Huntsville City Schools Students Donate to Hurricane Relief

Hurricane Harvey, the first major hurricane to make landfall in the United States since Wilma in 2005, took a great toll on a large number of families in the Houston area.  While support poured in from across the country to assist with medical supplies, infrastructure, and other personal needs, two empathetic Huntsville City Schools students decided to pitch in and do what they could.

Ms. Yvette Coley-Smith, principal at Hampton Cove Middle School, was in for a bit of a surprise Monday morning when a student approached her about donating money.  The student, Matthew Heiliger, says that “about a month or so ago, we planned to do a lemonade stand and share the money.”  However, after hearing news about the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey, they started trying to think of ways to help out with their money instead. Matthew’s mother learned that the school was doing a relief fundraiser, so she suggested Matthew donate the money that way. His response was simply, “that’s a great idea!”  He approached Ms. Coley-Smith first thing in the morning while she was working in the car-line.  She was overjoyed, saying that “it just made my heart happy to know that there’s a young man and his family out there that’s willing to work hard for someone else in need.”

Lily Shelton, a fifth grader at Monte Sano Elementary School, also raised 15,000 various supplies for schools in the Houston Texas area.  She says the supplies included “a lot of paper – copy paper, construction paper, […] pencils, markers, backpacks, and clothing as well.”  Shannon Hoyle, Lily’s mother and a teacher in the district, said that their original goal was 10,000 items, and that “honestly, I didn’t know what 10,000 school supplies would look like.”  She says that she expected a few boxes, but they ended up with quite a lot more than that.  Lily wanted to help the students of Texas out because, as she puts it, “we’re one united country, so we’re supposed to help all the other states.”

It has been estimated that the hurricanes in Texas have displaced over 30,000 families, and despite hardships, the Houston Independent School District has granted free lunches to all students for the remainder of the school year.  The money and supplies raised by students in Huntsville City Schools for the Houston area will undoubtedly go a long way to help out.

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